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Could Messi play for Barcelona or in Saudi Arabia after Inter Miami's elimination?

North American soccer continues to set its own rules at times when it comes to building its competitions. In soccer, the existence of the playoffs presents US clubs with a different reality. The recent elimination of Inter Miami in the MLS playoffs means that players like Lionel Messi, in particular, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are without 'work' until February.

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In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Messi being loaned to Barcelona or a club in Saudi Arabia, considering that the North American team will play next in February 2024 and the player would otherwise be inactive for four months.

While the possibility exists, there are obstacles that could hinder Messi's temporary negotiation with another club, considering that the registration windows for the main European leagues, as well as the registration window for the Saudi League, are closed.

Rodrigo Marrubia, a sports law specialist and partner at Carlezzo Advogados, analyzes the possibility of a loan from the perspective of FIFA regulations.

"Although Messi has already been registered by two clubs in the last year (PSG and Inter Miami), from the perspective of the FIFA Transfer Regulations it would be possible for the athlete to be transferred and play for a third team," Marrubia explained. "However, as a general rule, FIFA authorizes a player to register with up to three teams during a season, but he may only play official matches for two of these teams.

"This case would fall within the exception of the Regulations, when transfers of players between clubs of associations that have overlapping seasons, for example, as is the case of the Spanish and Saudi Arabian Federations. Both start at the beginning of the second semester, while the North American Federation starts its season at the beginning of the year. In this case, the athlete would be allowed to play for a third team."

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However, the expert stressed that: "At this moment it would not be possible to close the transfer, taking into account that the transfer window for Spanish and Saudi Arabian clubs has been closed since September, so we would have to wait for the window to open in January 2024".

In addition, Marrubia explained that in the event of a loan of the player at the beginning of next year, "the minimum duration of this loan contract would have to comply with the provisions of the FIFA Regulations, which is the minimum period between two transfer windows, that is, if the loan is in January, his loan would have a minimum duration of about six months, which undoubtedly must be a major obstacle for Inter Miami to agree to loan its star, given the high investment made. sign him."

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