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Messi mania rules Major League Soccer — here's a lowdown on event

Major League Soccer is set to take place in North America with Lionel Messi being fans' favourite

By Web Desk
February 21, 2024
Lionel Messi gestures during a match. — USA Today/File
Lionel Messi gestures during a match. — USA Today/File

The new Major League Soccer season in North America is about to commence, and all eyes will be on one man, Lionel Messi.

The captain of Argentina, who won the World Cup, joined David Beckham's Inter Miami MLS team in the midst of the US regular football season last year and showed results right away, according to Al Jazeera.

The team prevailed in the opening game. After a run of ten consecutive losses, Messi returned to action. In addition, the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner gave the team its first trophy—the Leagues Cup.

In just a few months, Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba have completely changed the team.

Now that Messi has cemented himself as the team's focal point and is participating in his first full season for the team in its fourth year of existence, Miami will be aiming for its first-ever MLS Cup.

On February 22, Miami hosts Salt Lake City at the DRK PNV Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, kicking off the 29-team championship.

The player's entrance last year was hailed by Inter Miami's controlling owner, Jorge Mas, as a "seminal moment" for the sport in the US.

Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, thinks Messi's arrival will "put MLS on a different trajectory."

“And who knows what that’s going to look like years from now? But certainly, we’re in a different position today than we had been, with Messi in our league,” he said.

This season, MLS season ticket sales have increased by 15%, league sponsorship money has increased by 17%, club revenue has increased by 15%, and gear sales have increased by 44%, if figures provided by Garber are any indication.