Lionel Messi's unexpected gift to Barcelona may anger Inter Miami chiefs

The Argentine forward decided to help his former club, but that could spell trouble for him in MLS.

By William Estrella

Messi made a choice.
Messi made a choice.
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Lionel Messi arrived at Inter Miami in July last year and changed the club's history forever. Just weeks after his debut, he led the team to the first title in their history, the Leagues Cup, showing excellent performances and scoring several key goals. But that's not all, his arrival attracted the attention of other stars such as Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez, who joined the team to reunite with him.

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That allowed The Herons to have a squad of great quality and become the great favorites to win the Major League Soccer title and the CONCACAF Champions League. And it also served to raise the level of the league, as the other teams in the country will be forced to improve in order to compete with Leo and his teammates. For those reasons, the Inter Miami chiefs and fans are grateful to Messi. However, an unexpected decision by the Argentine forward could cause them anger.

In October 2023, Lionel was elected as the best player in the world by France Football magazine, mainly thanks to his excellent performances with the Argentine national team during the Qatar 2022 World Cup. That is why he received the Ballon d'Or for the eighth time in his career, increasing the lead over the closest competitor who is Cristiano Ronaldo, with five.

What no one imagined is what Messi had planned to do with that trophy. Spanish journalist Miquel Blazquez reported that Leo has gifted his eighth Ballon d'Or to Barcelona to be displayed in the club's museum and that caused reactions of all kinds. "He loves Barcelona with all his heart!" wrote one user on social media. But others believe that this gesture should have been to Inter Miami, his current club, and that preferring Los Blaugranas over The Herons may cause him problems in MLS.

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Another possible explanation

While users on social media debate whether Lionel Messi's decision was right or wrong, others distrusted Blaquez's information and claimed that the Ballon d'Or on display at the Barcelona museum is actually the one won by Aitana Bonmatí, star of the club's women's team, who was also awarded along with Messi in October by France Football magazine.

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