Messi, 35, made the Major League Soccer announcement on Wednesday that he will join Inter Miami after finishing his two-year stay at Paris Saint-Germain.
Lionel Messi wants to avoid the “pressure” of returning to the Catalan giants this summer, according to Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez, who revealed as much on Thursday.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner from Argentina had the choice of moving to Saudi Arabia for a large sum of money or returning to the Catalan club where he established his legacy.
Xavi on Messi’s decision
“He hasn’t had a good time in these two years (in Paris), and now he doesn’t want that type of pressure,” Xavi said on Twitch.
“It’s a personal decision, and the circumstances didn’t help, but the decision is Leo’s, and we have to respect it, he’s the best in history.”
Xavi said that he noticed a change in Messi’s attitude in recent days.
“Maybe he didn’t see it so clearly, and you have to respect that — many times we don’t put ourselves in the shoes of others, we lack empathy and being Leo can’t be an easy thing,” said Xavi, “Imagine Messi, in the focus he’s got on him, he’s never got calm, he has to behave perfectly, he has to be perfect on the pitch, he has to be the best in every way.”
Messi’s new dream
The athlete also acknowledged that he had been looking forward to living more leisurely in Miami while still giving his all to his new team.
“I want to enjoy myself again, spending time with my family, day to day,” said Messi, as quoted by Sportstar, “I’m in a moment where I want to go out of the spotlight a bit, think more about my family.”
In an interview with Spanish media, Messi expressed his concern that Barcelona’s financial position might make a return impossible and that he didn’t want to take the chance of finishing the summer without a club.