Lionel Messi has conceded that “everything changed” for him following Argentina’s World Cup success amid speculation over his club future at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 35-year-old was initially expected to remain in the French capital and sign a one-year extension, but he delayed making a decision until he had headed out to Qatar for the World Cup. And it appears things have changed in the mind of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner since he has returned.
There are now mounting fears among the PSG hierarchy Messi could depart come the end of the season following the expiration of his current deal. His latest comments do not directly address his club future, but admit that his crowning moment out in Qatar led to a shift in perspective.
Speaking to InfoBae, Messi explained: “I always thank God. I knew he was going to give me a World Cup, I don’t know, I felt it. Luckily he gave himself what we dreamed of so much.
“Luckily it happened in the end. From that day everything changed for me. Now we can say it.”
Some feel that Messi is now of the belief that having secured the one major trophy that evaded him for so long, he no longer has anything to prove and could spend the twilight of his career either back in his home country or plying his trade in the MLS, with Inter Miami particularly keen on a deal.
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There has also been speculation that the forward could seek an emotional return to Barcelona just two years after exiting the Camp Nou.
Spanish outlet Marca report how the Catalan giants are desperate to re-sign their greatest ever player, but their precarious financial position is a huge obstacle.
In truth, Messi will most likely have to take a drastic paycut wherever he ends up, with even Inter Miami unlikely to be able to fork out the kind of eye-watering wages he is currently pocketing at PSG.
Miami co-owner Jorge Mas talked up the idea of a deal last February: “Leo Messi is still one of the best players in the world, his skills have not diminished.
“I believe, and David has a relationship with him, that if he leaves PSG, at the time he leaves PSG we would love to have Messi as a player at Inter Miami and be part of our community.
“Can it happen? We will push. I’m an optimist at heart – can I see it happening? It’s a possibility.”