Lionel Messi shocked the football world when he made the decision to move to American MLS side Inter Miami after two seasons with French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.
The question being asked here is, has Messi’s arrival elevated the MLS to a global level? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Has Messi’s presence elevated the MLS global profile?
Lionel Messi could have played for any team in the world after he left Paris Saint Germain, and whichever club he would have joined in any major global league, a spotlight would have been shone on that league, and his arrival would have instantly elevated the profile of that league.
He chose to join Inter Miami, and just like Cristiano Ronaldo, who shone a light on the Saudi Pro League when he joined Al Nassr Football Club, Messi has done the same thing in America for Major League Soccer. Only these two players have such power to elevate entire leagues simply by playing each week.
Sales of tickets to watch Inter Miami home and away games and Messi shirt sales have been through the roof, bringing in new money to the club. Other clubs have also seen a similar trend with an upsurge in ticket sales when they face Inter Miami. Even major sports stars and Hollywood celebrities come to watch the G.O.A.T. play.
Messi attracts everyone from avid soccer fans to casual spectators, not just at the stadiums but also to sports streaming sites, where people can watch him play online at home from a smart TV, desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet device.
Even sports betting sites with MLS, La Liga, and, for example, premier league odds have noticed an upsurge in bets being placed on the MLS.
In fact, the increased bid in the MLS could also boost the United States and Canada’s joint bid to host the upcoming FIFA 2026 World Cup.
Football fans around the world are now more interested in the MLS than ever, and this is all thanks to Messi. Not only has he brought attention to Inter Miami but to the entire MLS.
Those who were initially uninterested in the MLS are now showing an interest. His star power has forced people to pay attention to the league, whether they want to or not. It may very well prove to be the turning point that will change the MLS forever. Only time will tell.
Can Inter Miami win the MLS playoffs with Messi?
Since joining Inter Miami, the odds have already improved in favour of Inter Miami making the MLS playoffs and potentially winning the MLS outright. However, they are still only around the tenth odds-on favourite team to win.
If you were to place a wager on them right now to win the MLS outright (so including the playoffs), you would be looking at average decimal odds of around 11.00, meaning Inter Miami only have a 9.10% implied probability rate of winning the MLS outright. 11.00 is equal to 1000 in the American/moneyline odds format or 10.1 in the fractional odds format.
In comparison, Los Angeles FC, the current odds-on favourites to win, are priced at around 2.40 (140, or 7/5), with a 41.70% implied probability rate. The other teams that also currently have better odds of winning the MLS than Inter Miami are St Louis CITY SC, Seattle Sounders, Austin FC, FC Cincinnati, Los Angeles FC, Philadelphia Union, and New England Revolution.
Can Messi alone help the newly formed Inter Miami (est. 2018) to their first-ever MLS trophy, or will his presence attract more world-class players to join him and make his job of winning a title much easier? We will just have to wait and see. Visit exposednews.co.uk