Lionel Messi's move to the MLS and his new adventure with Inter Miami came at a bittersweet cost – the painful separation from his beloved Bordeaux Mastiff, Hulk. The decision to leave Hulk in Barcelona was primarily influenced by the seven-year-old mutt's health, a revelation by Argentine comedian Migue Granados after an interview with the 2023 World Cup champion at his Miami home.
The revelation unfolded when Granados, on a lighter side, suggested he might kidnap Abu, Messi's pet poodle, and demand a hefty ransom after their interview. To his surprise, Hulk, the Mastiff, was conspicuously absent. Upon inquiry, the Inter Miami man disclosed, “He's in Barcelona, Hulk is there. He is a little old. So, we had to leave him in the house we have there in Barcelona.”
Messi welcomed Hulk into his family in 2016, sharing an endearing Instagram photo of himself hugging the pup and expressing his gratitude for the “beautiful gift” from his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo. Over the years, the Inter Miami superstar and Antonela frequently shared glimpses of Hulk's life on social media. However, these updates ceased in 2021 when Messi temporarily returned to Spain while playing for PSG while recovering from an injury.
The decision to leave Hulk in Barcelona was driven by considering the stress and challenges associated with relocating the elderly Mastiff cross-continent. Messi candidly shared with Granados that Hulk is “on the verge” and may require euthanasia.
Bordeaux Mastiffs, known for their imposing size and gentle temperament, typically have a lifespan of five to eight years, although some defy the odds and live to be 11. Hulk now receives care at Messi's luxurious home in Castelldefels, a suburb near Camp Nou. Meanwhile, Messi has embraced his role as the face of MLS in the United States while playing for Inter Miami CF.
In the interview, Messi offered a glimpse into his family's daily routine, including early morning breakfasts with his three sons and their school drop-offs. He also mentioned the possibility of expanding their family, stating, “We would like… We are not in the search, but we would like it if the girl arrives.” As the World Cup winner continues to make his mark for Inter Miami, his fans will be touched by his unwavering love and concern for his faithful companion, Hulk.