LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) Lionel Messi has provided a candid evaluation of his inaugural season with Inter Miami, which concluded with the team falling short in the MLS playoffs.
After departing Paris Saint-Germain in June, Messi embarked on a new venture in the United States, inking a two-and-a-half-year deal with Inter Miami.
The World Cup champion made an immediate impact in Florida, tallying 11 goals in his initial 14 outings across all competitions, and played a pivotal role in Miami clinching their maiden trophy, the inaugural Leagues Cup.
However, towards the conclusion of their 2023 MLS campaign, Miami experienced a dip in performance, ultimately missing out on a playoff spot, while Messi grappled with lingering fitness concerns.
Nevertheless, the 36-year-old is enthusiastic about highlighting the positives from his initial months in the U.S. and anticipates a multitude of “remarkable moments” in 2024.
“I take pride in the team’s achievements this season,” Messi expressed in a post on Instagram.
“With everyone’s dedication and hard work, we secured the Leagues Cup, marking a historic milestone for Inter Miami.
“We reached the final of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and we fought until the final moments for a spot in the MLS Playoffs.
“We carry with us all the positives, and most importantly, the determination to enhance our competitiveness for the upcoming year.
“I extend my gratitude to everyone at the club and the city of Miami for their unwavering support.
“I am confident that we will continue to share incredible moments together, as we have in recent months. Warm regards to all!”
During the MLS off-season, there have been speculations of Messi potentially returning to Barcelona on loan, following reports of a near reunion with the club in the summer transfer window.
However, the Argentine star has clarified that he will be focusing solely on his international commitments in the upcoming months, while also planning to relish a well-deserved vacation after his efforts in Miami.
Head coach Tata Martino has already begun looking ahead to the 2024 MLS season, with Luis Suarez purportedly being his primary transfer target.
The former Barcelona forward is poised for a reunion with Messi at DRV PNK Stadium, as his current club Gremio is anticipated to be open to a transfer after initially blocking it in the midst of the Brazilian Serie A season.