Lionel Messi could make shock Argentina decision after Inter Miami move
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Argentina icon Lionel Messi could have an extended break from international football once he moves to Inter Miami this summer, it has been reported.
It represents a new challenge for the 36-year-old, who will play outside of Europe for the first time in his senior career.
The forward turned down an approach from Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal in order to play in the States, where he will play against the likes of Carlos Vela, Lorenzo Insigne and Thiago Almada.
Prior to his move, Messi represented Argentina in an exhibition match against Newell's Old Boys on Saturday, typically scoring a hat-trick.
But he may have been keeping an eye on his new franchise, who lost 4-1 to Philadelphia Union in MLS - disappointing one fan who travelled over 1,000 miles in the hope of seeing the footballing icon play.
It has been a tumultuous season for the David Beckham-owned club, who dispensed with the services of manager Phil Neville last month and sit bottom of the 15-team Eastern Conference after 18 games.
The arrival of Messi will surely push them up the table in the next campaign - but this season's performances suggest the Argentinian will have his work cut out.
And according to a new report, the 36-year-old is planning on making a major decision at international level once the move is completed.
Messi could take Argentina break
It is claimed that the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner and his family are already searching for a house in the American city, and that he wants to concentrate on his new club venture.
The report adds that the request will need to ratified by Argentina chiefs, but given his pivotal role in helping the country to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, its governing body are believed to be prepared to accept any request.
It is said that Messi had requested to take a year off from international football.
Argentina do not currently have fixtures scheduled, but the next edition of the Copa America is set to begin in June 2024. Scaloni's side will be desperate to have their key player involved to spearhead their defence of a trophy that the country won in 2021.