“I will go to Inter Miami,” Messi confirmed to Sport and Mundo Deportivo on June 7. That message broke the hearts of Barca fans, bringing disappointment to Saudi Arabia, which wanted to bring Leo here to play, thereby opening a “new competition” between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. .
Messi is still too good to play in the MLS, USA. Leo’s decision to “retire” at Inter Miami is said to have come earlier than expected. At this point, one wonders if Messi’s great legacy will be tarnished by choosing to play in a league with a low level of expertise?
Messi has nothing left to conquer
When Leo left Barca in 2021, Inter Miami soon sent the Argentine superstar an offer. The MLS team failed, but never stopped hoping for the signature of the best player in the world. By 2023, Inter Miami achieved what it wanted.
Messi, who is about to turn 36, will come here to play. In the past, the MLS tournament has welcomed many famous players such as Thiery Henry, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic,… All can’t compare to Messi, the owner of 7 Golden Balls.
However, what welcomes Messi in the US will be very strange, if not completely different from what has been experienced. Inter Miami’s home ground has a capacity of only 18,000 seats. They have ambitious plans to build a new $1 billion stadium.
If Messi is looking for a club rich in achievements, full of competition, then Inter Miami is not the right destination. The team ranked at the bottom of the table in the Eastern region, the team’s expected goal average (xG) is only 0.82, the worst statistic in the league.
Phil Neville, the team’s head coach, was fired last week, after a four-game losing streak. Right now, Messi doesn’t even know who his new manager is. In early 2021, Inter Miami received a penalty for violating the regulations on the league squad, having to cut the budget allocated for the years 2022 and 2023, causing the club to be restrained in the commercial and transfer market.
If Messi is looking for the best in the MLS, Inter Miami is not a dream destination. Los Angeles FC will be the better choice, with a smartly built squad, dedicated support from the leadership. The team has also achieved impressive results recently.
In a way, Barca was right when it said that “Messi wants to play at a lower level while avoiding the pressure from public opinion that he has suffered in recent years”. However, this message has a “sarcastic” connotation, mocking Leo’s fear of facing challenges, no longer motivated to compete in big playgrounds.
Everyone has their own opinion. But one thing for sure about Leo is that “he doesn’t have much to do right now” (in football terms – PV).
Last December, Messi successfully conquered the last and most difficult challenge, the 2022 World Cup. A year earlier, Leo pocketed the Copa America title. At the club level, the 35-year-old superstar owns 4 UEFA Champions League titles, crowned in La Liga and Ligue 1.
Messi has the perfect career. The achievement makes many former players like Ronaldo de Lima, the famous player dubbed “Alien”, or Diego Maradona also jealous.
Messi to Inter Miami is probably not in search of more titles. Even if the same MLS team wins trophies, it still doesn’t make Leo greater. But if the Argentine superstar fails at Inter Miami, will his legacy be tarnished? The answer is no.
Because from the beginning, the meaning of Messi coming to MLS is beyond the scope of football. He came here for the purpose of expanding his self-image, marketing his own brand in this attractive market in the future. In the next few years, maybe fans will see Leo as a co-owner of some team.
On the Guardian, journalist Graham Ruthven said that at this stage of his career, football seems to no longer be a priority for Messi. He wants to live more for his family. In Miami, Leo owns real estate and visits the city often. Life, the climate in south Florida is also easier for Leo and his family to adapt.
After all, Messi chose Inter Miami for the best for himself and his small family right now. Financially, he is said to pocket a salary of up to 100 million USD/season. And yet, Apple is said to be ready to give the Argentine superstar a huge part of the revenue from selling packages to watch online football.
Leo probably didn’t care too much about how bad Inter Miami looked on the field. Here, you won’t be booed. In MLS, the competition between clubs is not too high. Therefore, helping the team leapfrog in quality, turning a losing club into a winner doesn’t make much sense.
Messi’s New Mission
Messi is no longer the same as before. He is 35 years old, quite a lot of decline. Leo’s contribution is no longer so bold and important. Even after winning many titles with Barca and PSG since 2015, Leo is still criticized for his lack of defensive ability.
In the Champions League, the Argentine superstar missed the appointment with the championship title for the past 8 years. However, Inter Miami does not need Messi to be so outstanding. At the moment, just his presence in the squad is enough to give a big boost to the club and the league.
Now, Inter Miami will be remembered as the club that owns the best superstar in the world, like Newell’s Old Boys and Sevilla where Maradona played. Every week, Messi opens the door for fans to watch him play live.
In 2023, Messi left European football to go to the US. His mission is also different now. The MLS doesn’t need Leo to score hundreds of goals, they want him to be the new icon, proof that football is growing here.
With Messi, his legacy is not tarnished by choosing MLS as a destination. At his peak, Leo rocked the football world with a succession of top-notch performances. At the age of nearly 36, Leo chose a “safe” and less “pressured” direction.
Coming to the US, Messi will play a more inspirational role. His mission is to help football in this country become popular, so that by 2026, people will joyfully welcome the biggest football festival on the planet.
In 2007, LA Galaxy created a sensational transfer deal when it successfully recruited David Beckham. The British player also made constant efforts to promote the image of the MLS for a long time. Now, with Messi, football in the US is expected to continue to raise the bar.
Di Cam | 11:10 08/06/2023