Messi’s Ballon d’Or celebrations show Inter Miami gave him what PSG didn’t

The entire Inter Miami roster celebrated Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or win in style – a big difference between his time in the US versus his last club, Paris Saint-Germain.

The club posted photos on social media to celebrate his victory, with Messi posing with the team with several props.

The Argentine won his record-shattering eighth Ballon d’Or and became the first MLS player in history to achieve such a feat. After winning the prestigious French award, Messi admitted that his two-year stint at PSG did not end with the same fun and comradery he has been met with in Miami.

In contrast to Inter Miami’s enthusiastic support for their star player receiving an individual award, Messi has openly criticised PSG for not acknowledging his World Cup victory with Argentina in December. “I was the only player of the [squad] that didn’t get a [club] recognition,” said Messi. “It was understandable … because of us [Argentina], they didn’t retain the World Cup.”

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And after winning this year’s award, he jokingly stated his intention not to present the award at Parc des Princes, PSG’s home stadium, in light of his turbulent experience with the club.

He said: “I am not sure the Parisians want that I present the Ballon d’Or to the Parc [des Princes]. My time in Paris did not go as I hoped for different reasons.

“I lived for two years in Paris, and I have very good friends there. I have enjoyed the city a lot. My sons really enjoyed it, and it cost them a lot to leave Paris because they did not want to move yet, and they wanted to stay in their school and with their friends,” Messi continued.

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“It’s an incredible city that I had the chance to live in for a bit. From a sporting point of view, it didn’t go as I hoped, but I keep in mind all the good things that I have lived, and there have also been many.”

Messi joined Inter Miami last July and had an immediate impact on the squad. After a huge unveiling streamed on Apple TV, the Argentine immediately helped the team win the 20203 Leagues Cup, David Beckham’s first-ever trophy as owner. The appearance in the Leagues Cup was also its first for Miami.

During his time at PSG, Messi helped the team with the 2023 French Super Cup. However, the team under achieved with three-word class attacking players, including Messi, Neymar Jr, and Kylian Mbape, operating the team’s front line.

Upon leaving the club, Messi himself noted his exit was met with “mixed emotions.” His relationship with the French club was proven rocky, enduring several instances involving the team’s fanbase and management. A notable instance was when PSG punished the World Cup winner after he took an “unauthorized” trip to Saudi Arabia – a move part of his tourism sponsorship deal with the country.

Messi’s contract with the Miami club expires in Dec. 2025.

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