Lionel Messi confirms Inter Miami will be last club before retirement

Megan Briggs

Lionel Messi said Inter Miami will be the last club he plays for before he decides to hang up the cleats.

Although the 36-year-old star is not ready to call it a career quite yet, he said he realizes his time in the sport is running out.

“Inter Miami will be my last club,” Messi told ESPN. “I love playing football. I enjoy everything much more because I am aware that there is less [left to play].”

Messi, who has a contract with Inter Miami until the end of 2025, joined MLS in 2023 after a 20-year run in Europe playing for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

“I’ve done this all of my life; I love playing ball. I enjoy the practices and the day-to-day, the games,” Messi said. “There’s a bit of fear that it’s all ending. It’s always there. It was a difficult step leaving Europe to come here [Miami].”

That being said, Messi stated emphatically, “I try to enjoy it. I do that more now because I’m aware that there’s not a lot of time left. So I have a good time with the club, being lucky having good teammates and friends at my side.”

The record eight-time Ballond’Or winner has scored 14 goals for Inter Miami on the season. He also sparked Argentina’s victories in the 2023 Copa America, the 2022 World Cup and is set to represent his country in this month’s Copa América.

Whether Messi plans to play for his homeland in the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada, is still unclear.

“I enjoy my time with the national team, where I also have good friends, too, and a lot. I enjoy those small details that I know I’ll miss when I stop playing.”