From the boredom of PSG to the embrace of Miami: Messi’s new life in the United States

(CNN Spanish) — The heartfelt embrace that LeBron James and Lionel Messi gave each other symbolized the homage that the sport of the United States, Major League Soccer (MLS) in particular and Miami itself paid to the best player in the world. It happened before the debut of the Argentine soccer player with Inter Miami against the Mexican Cruz Azul at the DRV PNK Stadium for the League Cup.

A moment crystallized, which was like a ritual, with which Messi inaugurated a life radically different from what he experienced in Paris. It was a kind of balm with which he parted the waters between one stage and the other.

To Miami to enjoy life
“I’m going to Miami to experience soccer in a different way and enjoy day to day more,” the soccer wizard told Sport and Mundo Deportivo of Spain in June when he confirmed that his life was taking a new direction.

Lionel Messi celebrates the goal that gave his team victory in the Leagues Cup against Cruz Azul from Mexico. Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The impact of the news spread with the same speed as his dribbles and runs had in his heyday. NBA stars, -among other athletes-, laid out the red carpet for him with warm messages on their social networks, welcoming him. He was greeted by Gannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Kevin Durant, star of the Phoenix Sun, among others.

Even before confirming his pass, the most effusive was former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal: “Messi, my name is the Black Godfather and I want to tell you that I love you, brother. I would like to meet you, you are the best. I love you”.

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Messi has a property in Miami where he and his wife and children have gone on vacation on more than one occasion. And they enjoy the texture of the city, its people and the warmth of the breezes that they love so much. Although the current of affection that he received sheltered him with more warmth in the new life that he was beginning.

From glory in Qatar to goodbye in Paris
“He’s done, he’s done,” said Lionel Messi as soon as he won the World Cup in Qatar with his team. After embracing the World Cup nothing was the same anymore. The demands of a part of the fans of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) were in crescendo. Messi had to not only be the hero, but also correct the sporting limitations of the squad.

The mistreatment of a sector of the sports press, and the increasingly cold relationship with the leadership, generated a thick broth. The distance with Messi seemed to widen after the World Cup final in Qatar, in which the Argentine squad defeated no less than France.

The celebration of Messi and the Argentine team after the victory in Qatar TOMAS CUESTA/AFP via Getty Images)

The elimination at the hands of Bayern München in the round of 16 of the Champions League meant the beginning of the end on French soil for the Argentine captain.

“I expected to end in a different way. It’s been two years that have been difficult,” the star confessed to Sport and Mundo Deportivo, after slamming the door and closing the chapter of his life in France. In the city of light, beyond football, his life passed between the admiration generated by his always cordial treatment, by the astonishment that his simplicity at all times caused in Parisians and by the very few family appearances in a city that amazed them, but that they found it elusive. It is true that, on the other hand, his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo, did seem to feel comfortable in the world of fashion and the irresistible style of Parisians.

Objective: to enjoy the family and another type of life
Everything changed in Miami. The reception was effusive, but the welcome at the Inter Miami stadium was exultant. Not even the rain dampened the fervor of the fans who filled the stadium, of the leadership headed by Jorge Más and of the musicians who entertained the party in his honor.

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“I want to thank everyone,” said Messi, having by his side a smiling David Beckham, leader of the Florida team and a key player in the success of Messi’s arrival in soccer in the United States.

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Messi came to this new challenge in his sporting life at the age of 36, multiplicity of distinctions, endless Olympic laps and I understand that his life needed a Copernican turn.

“I am at a moment where I want to get out of focus a bit, think more about my family (…) I had two years in which I was so bad at the family level that I did not enjoy it. I had that spectacular month for me in which we won the World Cup, but removing that was a difficult stage for me and I want to rediscover myself with enjoyment, with enjoying my family, my children, the day”.

What was said became a fact when, before being presented as a new MLS star, he went with his


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