Thank You Mrs. Messi! Lionel Messi Turned Down Over $1 Billion From Saudi Arabia To Play In Miami For This Reason

After the announcement of his signing to Inter Miami, Lionel Messi is officially a South Floridian, but was the price to live the lavish life too steep? Messi was reportedly offered the most significant contract in history with an initial offer of 1.2 billion euros over two years, or 600 million euros per year, from the Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

When that didn’t work, Al-Hilal then launched a last-minute save in hopes that Messi wouldn’t sign with Inter Miami and raised their offer to the Argentinian star to €1.5 billion or a whopping $1.6 billion per Forbes.

Happy Wife. Happy Life.

However, Messi was not alone in the massive decision, his wife also weighed in, and apparently she was not feeling a move to the Persian Gulf nation. Messi’s wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, could not envision raising their children in Saudia Arabia, and with Miami as an option, the pivot was a no-brainer, regardless of the enormous sums of money being offered to keep Messi’s talents out of South Beach.

The couple has three boys, and although Messi took Saudi Arabia’s offer very seriously, ultimately, his wife wanted to go to Miami, and as the saying goes, ‘happy wife, happy life.’

On Wednesday, Messi confirmed that he planned to sign with Inter Miami, the MLS team partially owned by David Beckham.

“I made the decision that I am going to go to Miami,” Messi told Sport and Mundo Deportivo. “I still haven’t closed it 100 percent. I’m missing some things, but we decided to continue the path.”

Major League Soccer followed suit, making it official.

“We look forward to welcoming one of the greatest soccer players of all time to our league,” said a statement.

MLS Levels Up

The 35-year-old Messi played for Barcelona from 2003-2021 and considered a return with their enormous offer, reportedly worth up to $500 million, but declined. Saudi Arabia has been luring some of the world’s finest players to the Gulf with great financial offers, and Messi was a huge target to boost tourism in the region.

Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, tried to negotiate a year delay of a potential Saudi deal but was told that the amount offered would not be the same if a delay was factored in. Messi’s current Paris Saint-Germain contract expires on June 30, and since he and his wife already own a luxury condo in Miami, it made sense for them to come stateside.

Additionally, the back end is potentially more profitable. He was reportedly offered substantial money from Apple’s deal with MLS Season Pass as a revenue share if he joined the MLS. There is no ceiling on the income generated for the subscription amounts Messi could yield from the deal and its Miami.

The MLS will benefit significantly from the prestige Messi brings to its league, and with the 2026 World Cup rapidly approaching, which will be hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, his presence will amplify the U.S. game.

With the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers still hoping to clinch titles over the Denver Nuggets and Vegas Golden Knights, respectively, South Floridians everywhere are thanking Mrs. Messi for bringing another sports star to the shores of Biscayne Bay.

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