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Will Lionel Messi be an MLS Success?

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

by Alan Lirman

Photo by Yoel J Gonzalez on Unsplash

The most accomplished player in the history of soccer has decided to make a move to Inter Miami. With 43 trophies won throughout his career and seven Ballon D’ors, Lionel Messi fancied a move to the MLS over the fast-growing Saudi League.

Messi turned down a $1.6 Billion three-year contract from Al-Hilal. According to Sportico, Messi signed a two-and-a-half-year contract worth up to $150 million in addition to significant bonuses and team equity. The question is not only whether Messi will be a Major League success, but also if he fits in into Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi will be an MLS success because his arrival has already marked a before and after for the MLS. According to Omar Zahran, since Lionel Messi has arrived at Inter Miami, ticket prices for Inter games have spiked 1000%, and they have gained 6 million new followers on Instagram.

With these simple numbers, Messi has already proven to be an MLS success without even having landed in Miami. He has brought attention and prestige to a league that has been on the way up. Now there is a reason to tune into MLS, the arguably greatest soccer player of all time is playing.

Other than increased viewership and attention for the league, Messi will also attract other top talents to the MLS. As recently reported by Fabrizio Romano, Sergio Busquets, who has won 32 trophies including three Champions Leagues, and is widely regarded as the best center defensive midfielder in the history of soccer, has now officially signed for Inter Miami.

Alongside Busquets, Jordi Alba and Sergio Ramos, two of the greatest defenders in recent history have also been rumored to join Inter Miami. As a result of increased viewership, attention and attraction, Messi will clearly be an MLS success as he will increase profits for the league and make soccer a more popular sport in the United States.

But will he fit into the Inter Miami team?

Inter Miami is currently last in the MLS Eastern Conference and is desperately in need of a player who can assist the offense.

Recently, Inter Miami sacked the coach they have had since the beginning of their short history, Phil Neville, who has never taken the team above mediocrity.

Now, a MLS Cup winner, two-time manager at a FIFA World Cup, three-time Conmebol Copa América finalist, Concacaf Gold Cup winner and former FC Barcelona and Argentina National Team manager Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino is the head coach.

With Martino's recent appointment, Messi will have a Spanish-speaking coach who has already coached him before. This will certainly increase Messi's ability to be able to fit in. Other than Martino, tactically, Messi will fit in perfectly. Usually playing with 3 forwards with Josef Martinez or Leonardo Campana as the highest-playing forward Messi would be playing in a position similar to the one he played in Barcelona. He will most likely be playing as right winger, or as an attacking midfielder, crossing and playing balls in behind defenders to an MLS legend Martinez, similar to what he did with Luis Suarez.

Lastly, Messi will fit in perfectly because he will act as a role model for a very young team. Messi will be able to guide academy products such as Ian Fray, Noah Allen, Benjamin Cremaschi, and David Ruiz to success.

Messi and Inter Miami, at surface level, seem like a perfect marriage.

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