Lionel Messi's first season at Inter Miami is coming to a close. It's fair to say that when he's on the pitch, the Herons are a completely different team, a winning one. Messi's absence in the last few games due to a prolonged injury dented Miami's playoff hopes. The club's regular season ends on October 21, which makes Messi eligible for a mid-season loan. But where could Messi end up on loan? Let's look at five clubs that could host the star man until the MLS kicks back into action next year.
Lionel Messi is Barcelona. The La Masia graduate single-handedly turned the club into one of the world's best, helping the Blaugrana to 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles while snatching a record-setting seven Ballon d'Or awards.
However, the GOAT left the Catalan side on somewhat acrimonious terms in the summer of 2021 when Barcelona couldn't afford to re-sign him. But with former teammate and friend Xavi as Blaugrana boss, Messi could make one last short-term visit to Camp Nou, if anything, for the legend's proper send-off.
Messi's current boss, Tata Martino, scoffed at the loan situation, telling Goal: “Is he going for fun? Maybe he's going to visit Barcelona. Other than that, I don't know anything else about it.”
Messi's unreal Barcelona stats:
We know Pep Guardiola gushes about Messi whenever he mentions his former player. After all, Messi excelled under Pep's tutelage at Barcelona, including that first treble during the 2008-09 season.
In fact, Guardiola tried to convince Messi to sign for the Sky Blues upon his departure from Barcelona in 2021. But Messi signed with PSG instead. Having lost two straight, Guardiola might fancy his chances at bringing in the Argentine star if only to lead by example — Erling Haaland, also in contention for this year's Ballon d'Or, could use some healthy competition.
The Saudi Pro League has been all the rage ever since Ronaldo signed a record-breaking $200+ million per year deal with the Riyadh-based club Al Nassr. Saudi club Al Hilal already tried their best to woo Messi long-term to Saudi Arabia for double Ronaldo's salary last summer. Messi put family first and decided to move to Miami.
But with Messi on a 5-month break, it behooves him to keep playing at the top. And what better way to reignite his bitter rivalry with Ronaldo one last time?
Which club do you think Mess will play for during the MLS break?