Messi moves to Inter Miami, and he can thank Ronaldo

Messi moves to Inter Miami, and he can thank Ronaldo
TOPSHOT - Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) walks past Riyadh All-Star's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) during the Riyadh Season Cup football match between the Riyadh All-Stars and Paris Saint-Germain at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on January 19, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

A little off-topic this one, but Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami is eye-opening, not because the world cup winner is going to the USA for the money, but because Cristiano Ronaldo was widely abused by the world of football for going to the money of Saudi Arabia.

We find the hypocrisy in football, and sport in general these days, to be absolutely staggering, that Messi fanboys slaughtered Ronaldo for his choice in going to the Middle East, while Messi is doing the same – going to the USA based on image rights, brand association and lifestyle.

This always happens in sport; one man (or woman) makes a controversial decision/action and the world absolutely destroys them. Colin Kaepernick, Phil Mickelson, Ronaldo – all widely abused either by the wider public or the sport itself and the governing bodies.

Then a few months later, a few years later, everyone is doing what they did, but without the abuse attached.

Look at Mickelson and golf – the legendary major winner has single-handedly fixed golf for the better, but he was absolutely ruined by the world for the controversial and bold choice he made. A year or two later, LIV golf won the day by gaining a full merger with the PGA and DP following a year of PGA-fuelled abuse towards the new tour.

Then there’s Kaepernick – got on the knee, and was abused out of American football for it, effectively lost his career – and then everyone started doing it (for right or wrong) and it changed things. He remains a pariah, sadly for him.

And the one who started it all – Jean-Marc Bosman. In 1995 he went to court over the inability to change team even after his contract was expired, with a transfer for him being rejected. The court ruled in his favour, and gave players freedom of contract, but he? Ended up a football pariah, loathed by clubs and never played again, losing pretty much everything he had. And yet footballers today are multimillionaires thanks to him.

Ronaldo is another – disgracefully slaughtered over his move to the Middle East, some commentators claiming it was ‘sad’ it had come to this, before we’ll bet a distinct lack of similar criticism to Messi, who has similarly ‘sold out’.

Because it takes the big moment, the big name, the dramatic sea-change to happen, someone to lose everything, be it credibility, money, their career, and then everyone else benefits from the change their move impacted.

Messi is just the latest one to get even richer thanks to predecessors who took controversial and bold steps.

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  1. Messi was being offered stupid money to play in Saudi and he was never one to associate himself too much with advertisers. Barca still owe him a heep of cash and he supposedly was willing to play for nothing but La Liga Fair Play means he would need to be paid €25m at least. 💙💙

    • Messi is going to USA because of advertising agreements, image rights and brand affiliation. He will make a lot more than he would in Saudi, that’s why he chose it.

      • You probably know more about it than I, but he was being offered £1.6b over 3 years. In his statement he claimed that he didn’t want to be in the limelight so much and he also didn’t want anyone at Barca to be sold or take a pay cut, he also had offers from other teams in Europe but he wasn’t interested. He already has a house in Miami. He didn’t want to disappoint his sons waiting on Barca & La Liga giving the green light so he took the decision himself. No doubt the add-one at Miami will be lucrative. 💙💙

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