Messi to Inter Miami - Thoughts?

For all you Soccer aficionados, how does Messi coming to Inter Miami impact the global soccer scene? Is this any different than Beckham when he came over?

Personally I think this is huge for the MLS, Messi will draw international eyes to the MLS and bring additional revenue to the league so that they can afford higher tier talent.

Curious what everyone else's thoughts are.

 

Also curious to see if the impact will be greater than that of Beckham, Henry, Zlatan. Personally, I hoped to see him in EPL or Seri A or back in Barca. That said, given it's sort of a retirement in transition for Messi, I don't think his presence alone will be enough change the MLS paradigm. But fingers crossed.

But it's a huge loss for European football. Europe's lost one of the greatest talents two years in a row, sad. Hopefully Haaland and Mbappe can make similar magic as Messi and CR7.

 

I think it's a step in the right direction, definitely not there yet. Homegrown talent may be more likely to come to Inter Miami or other clubs to play against Messi, but at the end of the day, they'll go where people can pay them more. MLS feels like it's gaining traction, but I think it'll be 10+ years before you start to see a real shift. 

 

Imo MLS will always lag because America invests in sports such as basketball, baseball, and football way more (due to viewership obviously) and this is often developed from a young age all the way into college and into the professional leagues. Nobody in the US aspires to be a soccer star growing up. It’s just not something that is culturally valued here, and unless that shifts there’s little chance of the MLS rising in quality.

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Am I the only one that feels like Mbappe and Harland are not even close to the levels of Messi and CR7?  I would even put Zlatan (who is usually excluded as part of the GOAT debate) miles ahead of Mbappe and Haaland in terms of quality 
 

Stats aside (which they’d have to maintain for another 15+ years to even be comparable to CR7 or Messi), they just seem like good athletes but they miss the bit of magic and inefficiency that makes the game entertaining to watch. Messi’s dribbling past 5 players head on and scoring, Ronaldo’s 30+ yard free kicks are truly otherworldly. Even Zlatans acrobatic kicks where he created goals out of nothing.

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From the finance side it’s interesting. Dude has enough money already but turned down $500M from Saudi. He does have the $400M “ambassador” contract w Saudi, and I’m sure he’ll get even more endorsements here in America.

His contract includes an equity stake in the team for $125M iirc, but no path to ownership how David Beckham had. Also, Apple is a “sponsor” and are apparently pitching in to fund Messi’s contract, but it’s not an officially sanctioned MLS backing.

 

It's kind of weird to me since he's still better than 99% of players in the top 5 leagues. I think winning the world cup is all he had left to accomplish, so he's probably only going to the MLS for a nice vacation. Doubt he'll try all too much, but he'll probably still improve inter miami because they're ass.

 

He didn’t choose to leave early, he got pushed  out of Europe like CR7. He wanted Barca but they never came through for him and PSG wasn’t going to renew his contract. 
 

it was either Miami or Al-Hilal. Al-Hilal would have kept him in a more competitive state, but the difference in quality of life between Riyadh and Miami would be a tough sell for Messi who isn’t a Muslim (he’s a devout Catholic), can only speak Spanish, and in general likes to be near the waters not the middle of a desert. There are also the cultural  restrictions his wife would face in Riyadh. 

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You'll see a pop in viewership but honestly man, the standard of the MLS is so shit. The game is slow af, and technical ability is far below other leagues. It's popcorn soccer, bring in ageing global stars for the media blitz and advertising. Like I'll go to TFC because the crowd and culture are pretty fun but occasionally and I sure as shit don't watch them on TV. 

 

It is super exciting and will be way bigger than anything ever before (Beckham, Zlatan,etc) I think for a couple reasons:

  1. Massive boosts in recognition/league revenue leading to more clubs openings or larger club investments which will ultimately bring over better talent further growing the league
  1. I hope because of point 1, this will allow a complete makeover of youth soccer. Growing up there was DPL then different classifications of club that made the process very confusing. Youth clubs are overly political and don’t have the money to tell the parents to piss off and just play the best 11 which really just hurts the game. While some things have changed, it’s still very flawed. Hopefully this Messi’s move will set things in motion to where US clubs start to integrate European models

Whatever happens it will be amazing to see him play!

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I do think that this is a bigger deal than previous superstars who came to the MLS because Messi has a reasonable claim to be the GOAT. It's similar to MJ coming back to the Wizards - you know he's past his prime and it's not the same, but it's exciting for the game and people will pay to see him just because it's MJ. Soccer is also on the upswing in the US in general, so I can't see how this would hurt enthusiasm.

I think the biggest problem with the MLS is they somehow need to compete with Europe's contracts in order to REALLY grow and generate excitement. Otherwise, it'll always be a retirement home for superstars who want one last paycheck. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure the MLS will have a salary cap like most other American sports leagues. Why in the world would a prime Messi ever come to the MLS if the quality of play is worse (i.e. winning the MLS championship is infinitely less prestigious than winning the Champions League or even La Liga) AND he'd be paid less? Jude Bellingham, who probably most of this board has never even heard of, commanded over 120 euros potentially for his transfer to Real Madrid and is probably going to be paid hundreds of thousands of euros per week in wages at Real. 

The only way the MLS will ever become big is if the US becomes competitive enough internationally to the point where players in Europe want to come here to play vs competing against each other in Europe. It's kind of the reverse situation whereby a lot of top international NBA players saw MJ and the Dream Team in '92 and decided they wanted to play in the NBA against the best players in the world. In this case, the few soccer players we've grown in the US are lukewarm at best internationally (hardly even a Toni Kukoc at the moment, forget about Dirk) and would rather try their hand in Europe than stay in the US. 

 

Totally agree with everything you wrote. Currently MLS salary caps (I looked this up) are at about 5.5 million with each team allowed to have 3 players that don't count toward the cap over ~$620k. With that piddling amount of money (for professional sports) there's no shot they're competitive until they get revenue up and by association team salaries.

 

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