Lionel Messi reportedly rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia-based club Al-Hilal worth €1.5 billion, instead opting to sign for Inter Miami.
On Wednesday, the Argentine confirmed he will be joining the MLS side owned by David Beckham after his contract with PSG expired, though not before Al-Hilal launched a last-minute bid in an attempt to convince Messi to sign for them.
According to COPE journalist Helena Condis, the deal presented to Messi included a three-year contract in which he would earn €500 million per season.
"Al-Hilal made one last offensive for Messi at the last minute," Condis tweeted. "From Saudi Arabia they would have offered him €1.5 billion for 3 years. 500M per season."
Condis also stated that the Saudis were sent "crazy" by seeing Messi decide to move to Inter Miami, shocked and disappointed that the legendary footballer didn't accept their offer to join an ever-growing league containing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema already.
At the conclusion of their unsuccessful negotiations, Al-Hilal reportedly told Messi's representatives that the astronomical proposal presented, which would have made him the richest footballer in history, will be not at the same level in a year's time if he is considering a move.
However, Messi has since clarified his decision. Saudi Arabia never seemed a likely destination, with the 35-year-old stating that while Barcelona remained a "dream" of his, he also had to consider what his head was telling him: move to Inter Miami.
During an interview with Mundo Deportivo and Sport, he explained returning to Barca wasn't feasible due to the club's financial issues, so instead chose somewhere he believes will make him happier as both a person and a player.
"I'm at a point where I want to step out of the spotlight a bit, think more about my family," Messi said. "I had two years where I was so unhappy on a personal level that I didn't enjoy it.
"I had that month that was spectacular for me because of winning the World Cup, but apart from that, it was a difficult period for me. I want to rediscover joy, enjoy my family, my children, the day-to-day."
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.