From David Beckham to Kaka, via Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, MLS has welcomed its fair share of superstars through the doors. The best, however, is seemingly yet to come, with soccer in the United States holding ever greater appeal to household names.
The ever-expanding reach of a domestic game is allowing sights to be set higher than ever before. While the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB will always dominate the sporting scene, there is no closed shop.
The exploits of former England and Brazil internationals have captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, and another iconic figure may soon decide to go chasing an American dream. Lionel Messi is into the final year of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 20, 2020
For now, honors in Europe are his priority, with those looking to bet on Champions League markets able to get PSG at +800 to claim a continental crown in 2023. Given the talent at their disposal and the many Champions League betting tips weighted in their favor, the French heavyweights should be expected to go close in that trophy bid.
It is yet to be determined what the future will hold for Messi once another quest for prestigious prizes at Parc des Princes, and the last shot at World Cup glory with Argentina at the 2022 World Cup, comes to a close.
With no extension to his deal in Paris agreed as yet, an exit door may swing open next summer. If that were to be the case then, as a free agent, no transfer fee would need to change hands in order to lure the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to his next destination.
There is plenty of speculation to suggest that the mercurial Argentine may be mulling over a move to America, and Miami in particular. Such a move would hold obvious appeal given the presence of Manchester United and Real Madrid legend Beckham in Florida.
Inter Miami continue to play recruitment cards close to their chest, with club director Chris Henderson saying when quizzed on talk of an offer being put on the table: “I knew Messi would come up! It’s great to be connected with amazing players. I don’t want to comment on someone who’s not on our roster and speculation and rumors, but he’s one of the greatest players to have ever played the game. Messi on any team in the world is going to change that team.”
Lionel Messi will join MLS side Inter Miami in 2023, according to DIRECTV Sports 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/KxZgyKybii
— GOAL (@goal) May 17, 2022
Miami as a sporting hub knows all about the benefits of speculating and accumulating when it comes to the pursuit of prestigious prizes. The Dolphins invested heavily in the game-changing ability of Tyreek Hill ahead of the latest NFL campaign, while ultimate success was savored in NBA circles after acquiring the best in the business.
Hall of Famers from present and future, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James, helped to deliver three Finals triumphs during their respective spells in the Sunshine State – transforming the Heat from ambitious also-rans that dared to dream into serial winners that made Miami a subject of conversation for fans across the globe and allowed merchandise sales to go through the roof as celebrity supporters were often spotted courtside at the FTX Arena.
There is every reason to believe that Messi would be capable of emulating those achievements and making a similar impact if he were to make a switch of his own, with DRV PNK Stadium ready to throw open its doors in a city that has history when it comes to dealing with all-time greats.