Lionel Messi has announced he is to join Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.
The 35-year-old Argentina star had been strongly linked with a move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal, to join a league which already features Cristiano Ronaldo and now Karim Benzema.
However, with Messi's two-year contract at Paris Saint Germain coming to an end this month, the World Cup winner confirmed in a joint interview with Spanish publications Mundo Deportivo and Sport he was set to head to the United States.
"I made the decision that I am going to go to Miami," Messi said. "I still haven't closed it one hundred percent. I'm missing some things, but we decided to continue on the path."
Major League Soccer franchise Miami are co-owned by former England captain David Beckham.
The Florida side recently sacked Beckham's former Manchester United and England team-mate Phil Neville as coach and are currently bottom of the 15-team Eastern Conference, but remain a fiercely ambitious club.
Messi had also been linked with a move back to his former club Barcelona, but confirmed when that was not set to go though, he opted for a fresh challenge overseas.
"If the Barcelona thing didn't work out, I wanted to leave Europe, get out of the spotlight and think more in my family," the Argentina playmaker said.
"I really wanted, I was very excited to be able to return [to Barcelona], but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again - waiting to see what was going to happen.
"I heard that they had to sell players or lower players' salaries and the truth is that I didn't want to go through that, nor take charge of obtaining something that had to do with all that."
Barcelona wished Lionel Messi good luck in a terse and pointed statement from the club's president Joan Laporta.
Barcelona said in a statement that Messi's father and agent had informed the club on Monday of his decision to move to America instead of returning to Spain.
"Barcelona president (Joan) Laporta understood and respected Messi's decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years," the LaLiga side said.
The club added that Laporta and Jorge Messi, Messi's father, agreed to work together to promote a proper tribute from fans to honour the 35-year-old.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
Watch Derry City v Bohemians in the League of Ireland on Friday from 7.35pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, follow a live blog on all matches on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app
Watch the Champions League final, Manchester City v Inter Milan, on Saturday from 7pm on the RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player and follow a live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app