Once again, Barcelona couldn’t do enough to entice Lionel Messi.
Nearly two years after the club was forced to let Messi go against his will because of its financial struggles, Barcelona again missed out on a chance to bring the World Cup winner back.
The 35-year-old Messi announced Wednesday he would not return to Spain and instead said he was going to join Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.
There had been hopes of a reunion between the Argentina great and the Spanish club where he thrived for nearly two decades before leaving to join Paris Saint-Germain, but in the end, there was only more disappointment for both sides.
Again, Barcelona’s finances kept the club from luring Messi back.
The Argentine apparently wanted to return but didn’t want to go through the ordeal of not knowing whether the Catalan club would be able to sign him. He said he was told the club would have to either sell other players or lower salaries, and he didn’t want that to happen.
“I really wanted to come back. I was very excited to be able to return,” Messi told Spanish media. “But after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again, waiting to see what was going to happen.”
Barcelona was mired in debt when Messi left in 2021. The club couldn’t make the numbers work back then as Messi was forced to wait in hopes of having his contract renewed.