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Inter Miami looking to grant Lionel Messi proper Barcelona farewell

It’s been two years since Lionel Messi halted his two-decade association with Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in heartbreaking circumstances.

As the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner abruptly ended his trophy-laden career at Spotify Camp Nou in the summer of 2021, he never had a chance to bid fans a final farewell.

Messi left the Parc des Princes this summer, but he linked up with Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami instead of returning to Barcelona.

Miami co-owner Jorge Mas is hellbent on securing an opportunity for Messi to say a proper goodbye to the Catalan faithful he entertained for almost two decades.

During his recent interview with El Club del Deportista, Mas vowed to arrange a friendly match against Barcelona so Messi could greet the crowd that stood behind him for most of his life.

“Messi’s departure from Barcelona [in 2021] was not to his liking,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Express.

“He could not say goodbye to his club, which welcomed him as a child, and I think the circumstances were not what Lionel wanted.

“Inter Miami will go [there] or we will play some kind of game.”

The annual Joan Gamper Trophy, a friendly event that kicks off every Barcelona season in August, could be an ideal opportunity for Messi to return to Camp Nou next year.

If Mas’ idea goes through, the Argentina captain won’t be the only former Blaugrana star to meet the Catalan fans again.

Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba swapped La Liga for Miami this summer to play alongside Messi and under the stewardship of Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

The 60-year-old tactician was in charge of Barcelona in 2013/14, guiding the club to the Supercopa de Espana triumph and a runner-up finish in La Liga behind Atletico Madrid.

But the former Barca quartet has a more pressing matter to attend to, with the Herons fighting tooth and nail to lock down a place in the Eastern Conference play-offs for the first time.

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