The legendary Lionel Messi with an illustrious career spanning over two decades, has announced that Miami will be his last club. At 36, Messi acknowledges that “there’s not a lot of time left” in his playing career. This revelation marks a significant moment in the soccer world. One of its greatest icons prepares for his final chapters on the pitch.

Messi’s move to Inter Miami in the summer of 2023 ended a monumental 20-year stint at the European scene. In Europe, he played for two of the continent’s top clubs: Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Joining Miami was a significant decision for the 36-year-old, not just for the financial and lifestyle benefits. It was a new chapter in a career that has already seen him achieve everything in the sport. Messi made an immediate impact with the Herons, scoring 14 goals in all competitions and leading the team to the top of the Eastern Conference.

His arrival was more than just a transfer. It was a signal of Major League Soccer‘s growing influence and appeal. It brought a level of excitement and global attention to the league that few other players could. His presence has also attracted other stars to the club, including his former Barca teammates Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba.

What did Messi say about Inter Miami as his last club?

In an exclusive interview with ESPN Argentina, Messi reflected on his illustrious career and his recent move to Miami. “I’ve done this all of my life; I love playing ball. I enjoy the practices and the day-to-day, the games. Yeah, there’s a bit of fear that it’s all ending. It’s always there. It was a difficult step leaving Europe to come here [Miami],” he said.

“The fact we won the World Cup helped, it helped a lot, to see things in another way. But I try not to think about it. I try to enjoy it. I do that more now because I’m aware that there’s not a lot of time left.”

A large portion of Messi’s Argentine fan base had their hearts set on his retiring to his childhood training club, Newell’s Old Boys, in Rosario. But the veteran has stated his intention to savor every moment of his waning career with Inter Miami.

“I have a good time at the club, I am lucky enough to have teammates and friends [Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba] by my side,” he said. “I had a good time in the national team, where I have teammates and friends too.

“Also, I enjoy the little details that I know that when I don’t play anymore, I’m going to miss. My whole life I did this. I love playing ball and I enjoy training, day-to-day life and match days. And yes, there is always the fear that everything will end.”

What did Messi say about Argentina?

Despite his focus on club soccer over the last few months, Messi remains integral to Argentina’s national team. He recently returned to international duty, helping La Abiceleste in their quest to retain the Copa America title they won in 2021. “Argentina is always a favorite and a contender, at Copa America as well as in World Cups,” Messi noted. “We’re more of a favorite now because of where we’re coming from, having won the last Copa America, the Finalissima and the World Cup — and because of the group of players we have.”

His leadership and experience are crucial for Argentina, and he continues to inspire his teammates with his dedication and passion for the game. “I’ve been training for a few days and what never fails to surprise me is how they practice, the guys’ attitude, the desire to win, the hunger to keep winning,” he said.

As Messi contemplates the future, he remains noncommittal about participating in the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. “I’m not there to set any record or to say that I’ve played in five or six World Cups, no”, the superstar explained.

“I never gave much thought to records. It’s a great thing to hold records and continue seeking accomplishments, but I wouldn’t be at a World Cup just to say that I’ve been in six of them. If it happens, if I’m doing well and it all happens how it’s supposed to, then perfect. But to be there just because, no.”