Miami Messi - trading dreams for money?
Messi to the MLS looks a done deal. Inter Miami are set to sign the 21st Century's greatest player. With a loan spell at Barcelona part of the deal.
The Argentinean will earn a huge amount of money in his final years as a pro. Some sources say double what Cristiano Ronaldo is making in Saudi Arabia.
But surely there comes a point where you've earned enough?
If Messi quit today, his financial future is already more than secure.
The same is true of the Portuguese.
Doesn't there also come a time when memories are more important than wealth?
Messi hails from one the world's great footballing Meccas. Yet has never kicked a ball there as a pro. At least not in the club game.
The world's biggest derby is the Superclasico. Boca Jnuiors squaring off against River Plate is an epic tussle. And one of few club matches outside Europe which capture worldwide attention.
This isn't some pompous scolding of a great footballer looking for a final payday.
It's a genuine query. Whether he'll regret not taking a pay cut in return for playing in his country's, the world's, biggest club game?
Forgetting Buenos Aires for a moment. He could cement immortal status in his hometown of Rosario. For the club he supported as a youth. Newell's Old Boys.
The bizarrely nicknamed "Lepers" have become a middle of the road team. But they do have a glorious past. They've won the Argentinean league six times. Been Copa Libertadores finalists twice. Would a motivated Messi be enough to lift them to a seventh domestic title? A strong possibility.
It might even be enough for them to finally win South America's greatest club prize.
Argentine football doesn't exist within a Boca-River bubble. The whole country is mad about the sport.
Messi's legacy is cemented for all time. No doubt. But that cement would be strong as granite in his home country if he achieved those feats. Perhaps even if he only tried.
Without doubt, club football's biggest prizes are the Libertadores and Champions League. And he's already got multiple medals of the latter.
Of course, there are no guarantees of success. But by joining Inter Miami, he's sure of one thing. That he will never play domestic football in his home country. Is that something he'll live to regret in years to come?
MLS fans will argue football is growing in America. So it is. But can anybody claim it's as big, or ever will be, as in Argentina?
Doesn't a player of Messi's stature deserve to end his days as a pro in front of crazy fans?
Don't the football-mad public in Argentina deserve to see their hero up close before he hangs up his boots?