Futbol Club Barcelona used to have the offensive Dream Team. With Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi as the forwards, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic as two of the midfielders, and Gerard Pique as one of the main defensemen they were unbeatable. However, the team’s reign and glory didn’t last long. Neymar eventually left to play for Paris Saint-Germain. Iniesta left to play in Japan, and Suarez left to play for Atletico Madrid leaving Messi as one of the remaining stars. Thus, the team hasn’t been pulling its weight and has suffered devastating losses. Wanting to leave Barcelona for some time, Messi stated on December 28th, “I‘ve always had the dream of playing in another league, in the United States.”
This statement exploded on Instagram. Countless posts about this topic were omnipresent those days on a variety of pages. Another post by mls_news_ on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, with the caption “Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez plan to play together at Inter Miami in 2022.” These statements and posts spurred excitement among soccer fans in the United States as many hope that Messi will join Major League Soccer.
Lionel Messi has joined Barcelona at the age of 13 and it has been the only soccer club he has played for since then. His current contract with Barcelona, which was signed in 2017, lasts until July 30, 2021, but we don’t know what will happen afterward. Messi has expressed his desire to leave Barcelona but hasn’t done so yet, so we don’t know where he’ll go. Other European clubs such as Manchester City and Manchester United have expressed interest in signing Messi.
One of the main MLS clubs with its sights on Messi is Inter Miami owned by English soccer star David Beckham. Inter Miami is looking to sign a striker onto their team making Messi the golden match. They are even trying to lure Messi to the team by recruiting Luis Suarez to join them as well. The former teammates are known to have been good friends. Additionally, Lionel Messi has already bought a 9 million dollar home in Miami giving a good indication that he may as well be moving to the United States (SportsBible).
Since Luis Suarez left Barcelona in the fall of 2020 he’s been playing for Atletico Madrid. Although his contract with the club lasts until 2022, he’s expressed interest in joining MLS alongside Messi. Both all-time players have their sights on Inter Miami.
No star of this magnitude has ever joined MLS, the U.S. and Canadian soccer league. Regardless of which team Lionel Messi joins, it will be a revolutionary step if he joins a team in the United States, especially if Luis Suarez joins him.
Since 2012 MLS has noticed a 27% increase in interest (insights). Bringing these talented players to the U.S. will most definitely increase the popularity of the league to an even greater extent.
Soccer requires an extreme level of fitness. Playing for 90 minutes without stopping the clock and having only 3 substitutions for men’s soccer and women’s soccer having only 5 substitutions, the endurance required is unparalleled. However, compared to other sports such as football, baseball, and basketball, soccer is significantly underappreciated. This is slowly changing, but it now has the potential to become one of the more prominent sports in the country.