Lionel Messi has spoken of his difficult two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain and the negative impact it had on his family life.
The Argentine superstar confirmed on Wednesday night that he was joining MLS club Inter Miami in a wide-ranging interview discussing the decision.
It came following the conclusion of his two-year stay in the French capital.
Messi spoke of his decision to move to Florida despite having other options on the table.
In an apparent meeting between father and agent Jorge Messi and Barca President Joan Laporta on Tuesday ramped up rumours that Messi would again make his mark at the club where he scored an incredible 672 goals over a 17-year stint, two years after his exit.
Reports had outlined how the Argentine has struggled to settle in Paris for multiple reasons. It had been claimed that he and his family struggled to fluently speak French, which is perhaps unsurprising, despite the club having organised private language lessons for them.
It was also claimed that Messi and his young family also missed the weather of the Catalan capital with Paris instead of having a cooler climate with more rain.
Messi lived his opening months in Paris in the Royal Monceau hotel to live in the Neuilly sur Seine area of Paris in a 300-square-meter house which is close to their Argentine compatriots Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes.
The superstar misses his old residence in Castelldefels – 20km outside of Barcelona – with his new house not having a football pitch, swimming pool or the extensive garden that he had grown used to, while he no longer has a scenic view of the mountains and sea.
Yet Messi’s interview – jointly given to Catalan media outlets Mundo Deportivo and Diario Sport in the French capital on Wednesday – claimed that the setup in the French capital meant he missed a lot of his children’s development in school.
“These were two years [PSG] in which I was not happy,” Messi explained.
“I did not enjoy myself, and that affected my family life, I missed a lot of my children’s lives at school.”
Messi explained that his decision to go to Miami was based on what he believed would be the best lifestyle to combine with his football career, while a return to the Catalan capital was not possible:
“I heard that they [Barca] had to sell players or lower players’ salaries and the truth is that I didn’t want to go through that.”