- Argentine spoke with Blaugrana
- Chasing American dream instead
- Former team-mate understands call
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner appeared destined to retrace steps to Camp Nou at one stage after taking the decision not to extend his contract at Paris Saint-Germain. Talks were held between the respective parties, but Messi ultimately decided to go chasing an American dream with Inter Miami in MLS.
WHAT THEY SAID: Iniesta, who spent may successful years working alongside Messi in Catalunya before making his own move in 2018, has told DAZN of seeing his former team-mate favour the United States over Spain: “It would have been nice, special for what it means, but in the end, everyone looks for the best option, what they think will be good for them and, from there, they will probably live a different experience to what they have lived before. If it’s what he was looking forward to and what he wanted, I’m sure it will go well, as he did well in all the places he’s been.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Barca be without Messi in 2023-24, they still have the likes of Pedri at their disposal. The talented 20-year-old is considered to be the natural heir to Iniesta at Camp Nou, with the man himself saying of the youngster’s ongoing development: “As young as he is, he is already a reference point, an important person in the team with a lot of influence in the game and, surely, this evolution that he has had during this time will continue. He is in the best team to continue growing and I am convinced that he will have another great season.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Barcelona claimed the Liga title in 2022-23 for the first time in four years and are in the process of bolstering their ranks – with a deal already done for Ilkay Gundogan – despite seeing club legend Messi decide to head elsewhere.