Since his arrival in the United States to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS), Lionel Messi has enthralled American soccer fans with his phenomenal performance. His rapid adaptation and impressive goal tally in just ten games not only showcase his unparalleled skill but also place him prominently in the annals of the sport in the country. Comparatively, Messi’s performance even surpasses that of the soccer legend Pelé during his early days in the United States.
When Pelé joined New York Cosmos in 1975, he was already an iconic figure in the soccer world but had been out of action for eight months. Nonetheless, his arrival was met with great anticipation, and he quickly displayed his class on the field. In his first ten games, Pelé scored a few times, but his new team had a 53% success rate, with five wins, one draw, and four losses.
On the other hand, Messi arrived in the United States and immediately became a dominant force for Inter Miami. In just ten games, he netted an incredible 11 goals and provided three assists. Furthermore, the team clinched the Liga’s Cup title and secured a spot in the United States Cup final. His 73% performance rate not only showcases his individual brilliance but also his ability to elevate the team.
While Messi’s success is undeniable, the fact that Inter Miami still occupies the second-to-last position in the Eastern Conference of the MLS underscores the challenges the team faces. Soccer is a team sport, and even with a talent like Messi, the journey to the top of the league is a battle that involves the entire squad.
However, Messi’s presence in the United States is not just a story of statistics and numbers. It is a story of inspiration for young local players, a demonstration that talent and dedication can transcend borders and elevate the sport in a country that has historically favored other sports.
Messi in the USA is not just a high-profile signing; it is a sporting phenomenon that is redefining the standard of excellence in the MLS. As the Argentine superstar continues to shine on American soil, the legacy of his time in the United States will be remembered not only for his personal achievements but also for his lasting impact on the country’s soccer. Undoubtedly, he is leaving his mark as one of the greatest soccer stars of all time, no matter where he plays.