Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring Inter Miami's third goal during the round of 32 Leagues Cup match against Orlando City on Wednesday AFP / GIORGIO VIERA

Football superstar Lionel Messi is settling into his new life in the United States with his family. After joining Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami earlier this summer, the Argentine has now been spotted house-hunting in Miami with his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo.

Messi's unexpected decision to join Inter Miami

The 36-year-old made the shock decision to join Inter Miami after his two-year deal with French champions Paris Saint-Germain expired this summer. He reportedly received a highly lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, but instead chose to join the struggling MLS side.

At that time, he confirmed that he had a difficult time in Paris, wherein he was welcomed warmly but was met with a lot of animosity in his final months with the club. He enjoyed FIFA World Cup success with Argentina in 2022, but many in Paris felt that he prioritised the national team a lot more than his club. His performances for PSG were mostly underwhelming, and he also spent some time on the sidelines due to injuries and was even suspended for travelling without the club's consent.

Towards the last few months of his stint with PSG, a number of fans had turned against him and their jeers and protests in the stands and in the streets had become impossible to ignore.

Messi knew that a big money move to Saudi Arabia will put him under immense pressure once more, especially since he will be there to face eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo who now plays for Al-Nassr.

Now, Messi has moved to Florida where he and his family can be closer to their relatives in Argentina, and where they can have a more relaxed experience. Messi has even started taking English lessons in order to be able to communicate more effectively with his new teammates.

A new family home

It is well-known that Messi keeps a modern mansion in the outskirts of Barcelona where he has lived for most of his adult life. His children were also born in Spain and started schooling there, but it seems as though the family is now ready to establish roots in the United States.

It has previously been reported that Messi already owns at least four luxury apartments in Miami. It is unclear if he is staying in one of those residences at the moment, but it seems that he wants a bigger family home other than just an apartment.

Various media outlets have snapped photos of the Argentine viewing high end properties with someone who appears to be a real estate agent. Roccuzzo and one of the couple's sons were also present during the house-hunting tour.

According to a report by Goal, one of the houses that the Messi family looked at even had a putting green on its roof deck. The location is also ideal for the footballer, because the home is "in the prestigious Boca Raton region that sits an hour to the north of Miami, but only 25 minutes from DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale." Inter Miami plays and trains at the 34 hectare property, and Messi would like to remain within a few minutes from the office so to speak.

A dream start with Inter Miami

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has taken Miami by storm, and he seemed to be in good spirits as he scouted the area for his new digs. Contrary to his lukewarm start with PSG, Messi has already scored five goals in his opening three games for Inter Miami.

On his debut against Cruz Azul on July 21, Inter Miami fans and stakeholders were even treated to an incredible stoppage time free-kick goal which won the match. He has since scored two goals in the club's 4-0 thrashing of Atlanta United, and another brace against Orlando City on Wednesday.

Messi admitted that he had wanted to rejoin FC Barcelona, but when that did not seem possible, he made the decision to go to the MLS instead of joining another European team. He said that he wanted to enjoy his life a bit more, and after scoring five goals in barely two weeks in Miami, there is certainly a lot to be enjoyed.

He has also reunited with former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, making the transition to life in the USA a bit easier. With the Barcelona veterans in the squad, Inter Miami have turned their fortunes around and are now favourites to win the Leagues Cup. Their next match will be in the round-of-16 against FC Dallas this weekend.

However, they have a lot of work left to do in the MLS, where they currently sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table. It remains to be seen how much they can climb up the table in the coming months.

Club co-owner David Beckham is ecstatic over the new signing, comparing the winning feeling of landing the Argentine to the same sensations he had as a player when winning games at Wembley.