Lionel Messi

The impact of global superstar Lionel Messi’s arrival in the MLS

Earlier this summer, heralded professional footballer, Lionel Messi swapped Paris for Miami in a truly earth-shattering move in the world of not just professional football, but also on a global scale.

Revered as arguably the greatest football player to ever lace a pair of boots, fresh from a stunning FIFA World Cup win with his native, Argentina, Messi, who has won gold across multiple seasons in professional football – would venture stateside for the first time in his professional career – joining MLS (Major League Soccer) with the David Beckham-led, Inter Miami. 

A global sports icon, Messi’s stunning move to the United States has already garnered much attention amid a media frenzy, with the Argentine veteran netting five goals in just three games for his new side ahead of the commencing of the new MLS season.

And in the wake of Messi’s move to the MLS, following his stunning World Cup win with Argentina last December, betting has hit the roof on a number of markets, of the possibility of the multiple-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner becoming the first recipient of the award to win gold whilst playing his club football in the United States. 

Promotions for online casinos offer multiple ways for consumers and bettors to play and wager on worldwide sports, including football, with Messi sure to rival Manchester City forward and treble-winning goalscoring ace, Erling Haaland in any conversation for FIFA Ballon d’Or spoils in their year’s iteration. 

Spending two series with French side and Ligue 1 dominators, Paris Saint Germain, Messi, who formed a formidable front three with former FC Barcelona teammate, Neymar, and the recently cast out, Kylian Mbappe – failed to deliver the Parisian club a much-sought-after, UEFA Champions League trophy – despite spending two seasons in the French capital. 

However, separating himself from fellow sport great, Cristiano Ronaldo in the eyes of many critics and football pundits last year in Qatar, Messi managed to guide Argentina to World Cup glory for the first time since 1986 – and the first occasion since the sad passing of former leader, Diego Maradona.

Drawing 3-3 after extra time, with Messi twice scoring – while now-former PSG teammate, Mbappe landed himself a stunning hat-trick, the former would convert from the spot as the first kicker, with follow-up strikes from Paulo Dybala, Leandro Paredes, and Gonzalo Montiel past French stopper, Hugo Lloris enough to land Argentina the Jules Rimet Cup in the Middle East. 

Landing the captaincy immediately following his move to Inter Miami CF, Messi has since been joined in ‘The Sunshine State’ alongside former FC Barcelona teammates, full back, Jordi Alba, and defensive midfield maestro, Sergio Busquets. 

And in a summer which has saw a slew of notable and high-profile transfers to Saudi Arabia for massive sums of money, the aforenoted, Ronaldo – who moved to Al Nassr from Manchester United following a brief season-and-a-half salvo with Erik ten Hag’s side in the last two years, appears to have been the catalyst for an attempted entry into mainstream football for the Saudi Pro League. 

Despite receiving a reportedly eye-watering $1,600,000,000 offer over the period of three-years to make a move to the Saudi Pro League, Messi has decided to trade Paris for South Florida – taking his uber talents to the MLS. 

On many markets to boot, Messi’s arrival to Florida to link up with Inter Miami CF, has seen the club’s odds slashed as low as +2,200 to win the MLS Cup this season. 

Over the course of his storied tenure with the aforenoted Catalan giants, FC Barcelona, Messi, who racked up a stunning 672 goals in 778 appearance for the reigning La Liga champions, landed a slew of league titles, Spanish cups, and multiple UEFA Champions League crowns – under the tutelage of both current Manchester City head coach, Pep Guardiola, and newly-minted PSG manager, Luis Enrique – has traded European football for an MLS experience in his venture to the United States this season.

Featuring against Orlando City, Messi guided Inter Miami CF to a 3-1 victory, scoring in both the first and second half, in between a spot kick goal from Venezuelan striker, Josef Martinez. 

Turning 36-years-old just earlier this summer, whilst Messi’s stint in the United States and whilst competing in the MLS may be short-lived, the Newell Old Boys product is currently priced as short as -500 to win the golden ball for the staggering eighth FIFA Ballon d’Or – ahead of the aforenoted Norweigan goalscorer, Haaland. 

And despite his age, Messi, who managed to turn in an impressive 16 goals and a further 16 assists during his final season with former side, PSG – is sure to excel while plying his trade for inter Miami CF in the MLS – netting five goals since joining the Floridian side just earlier this summer. 

Whilst the UEFA Champions League record of Cristiano Ronaldo in terms to outright goalscorer in competition history will likely remain in tact with Messi’s move from PSG to Inter Miami CF – as well as the Portuguese’s recent admission that his days in European football are over, Messi is surefire to add to his stunning goal tally whilst playing in the United States for the foreseeable future. 

As well as his league goal exploits, Messi also managed to surpass 100 goals whilst competing in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last December in the Middle East – en route to a legacy sealing, and G.O.A.T stealing status to boot. 

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