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Jun 12, 2024 2:49 pm

Lionel Messi: ‘Inter Miami will be the last club in my career’

Lionel Messi Inter Miami

Lionel Messi is aware that the clock is ticking on his playing career.

With that in mind, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner told ESPN that he plans on retiring once he’s done playing for Inter Miami. He contends that there will be no second act elsewhere in Major League Soccer, or a return to Europe or his native Argentina.

“Inter Miami will be the last club in my career,” said Messi, whose contract runs through the 2025 MLS season — although there is an option for 2026.

Messi, who turns 37 on June 24, joined the Herons last summer after playing across the pond for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi isn’t playing like a man who has an eye on the end of his professional career. He has 12 goals and an MLS-best 13 assists in 12 matches (11 starts) this season for league-leading Miami (10-3-5, 35 points).

“I’ve done this all of my life; I love playing ball. I enjoy the practices and the day-to-day, the games. Yeah, there’s a bit of fear that it’s all ending. It’s always there. It was a difficult step leaving Europe to come here (Miami),” he said.

“The fact we won the World Cup helped, it helped a lot, to see things in another way. But I try not to think about it. I try to enjoy it. I do that more now because I’m aware that there’s not a lot of time left. So I have a good time with the club, being lucky having good teammates and friends at my side.

“I enjoy my time with the national team, where I also have good friends, too, and a lot. I enjoy those small details that I know I’ll miss when I stop playing.”

–Field Level Media

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