Lionel Messi during an Inter Miami match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. EFE/Cristobal Herrera

Messi ‘very happy’ about joining Inter Miami

Miami, Aug 17 (EFE).- Lionel Messi faced the media Thursday for the first time since coming to Inter Miami and said that he and his family were delighted with the reception they have gotten from people in the United States.

“We are where we wanted to be,” the 2022 World Cup winner told reporters at Inter’s DRV PNK stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Messi, 36, has scored nine goals in six matches with Inter and has led the side to the final of the Leagues Cup, a Major League Soccer/LigaMX tournament, against Nashville on Saturday in the Tennessee capital.

“We still don’t have the house where we are going to live. But it was very easy to choose, we were convinced to come to this place and the people made it very easy, both in the club since we arrived and the fans or the people I meet on the street,” he told reporters.

The Argentina captain drew a sharp contrast between the move to Miami and his 2021 transition from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

“It was much easier than we thought, because we had had the experience of changing cities from Barcelona to Paris and it had been complicated. This was totally different,” he said.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or said that he was unhappy about the 2021 deal that saw him go to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, where he won 35 titles in 17 seasons.

“My departure to Paris was not something I wanted, I did not want to leave Barcelona and it became difficult, but it is the opposite of what is happening to me now thanks to God,” Messi said.

The troubled Catalan club had to let its all-time leading goal scorer go because of Financial Fair Play rules.

Inter Miami, which was last in the MLS Eastern Conference before Messi came onboard, is now on the verge of playing for its first-ever trophy.

“We knew that (the Leagues Cup) was an opportunity to change how things are going in the league. It was a beautiful opportunity to begin to change that and set difficult objectives, but we are prepared to compete,” the striker said.

“To win the first title would be beautiful for everybody,” he said.

EFE ngd/dr