Messi in MLS: A Start from Another World

Lionel Messi, one of the biggest names in world soccer, is making history in Major League Soccer (MLS) with a performance that leaves everyone astonished. With 11 goals and five assists in his first 11 games for Inter Miami, Messi hasn’t just shone; he has set the field on fire. But is this success a surprise?

Comparing him to other international soccer stars who have passed through the MLS, such as Kaká, Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Rooney, and Drogba, it’s evident that Messi is in a league of his own. Kaká, although having a decent start with Orlando City, couldn’t have the same initial impact Messi did. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite his impressive numbers during his time with the LA Galaxy, had a less spectacular start. Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney also had modest beginnings, while Didier Drogba had a brilliant start but couldn’t maintain the same pace.

What makes Messi’s performance in MLS so remarkable? First, his adaptability is astonishing. Although known for his success in Europe with Barcelona, Messi quickly adjusted to the dynamics and playing style of the North American league, which is no easy feat.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 03: Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF controls the ball against Timothy Tillman #11 of Los Angeles FC in the second half during a match between Inter Miami CF and Los Angeles Football Club at BMO Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Furthermore, his consistency is unparalleled. In 11 games, he not only scored goals but also provided assists, demonstrating that he is a complete player who can impact all phases of the game. His contribution to Inter Miami’s success, including the Leagues Cup victory and the spot in the US Open Cup final, is undeniable.

The question that arises is: should we expect other world-class soccer players, like Messi, to have such impressive performances in MLS? The answer is not so simple. Each player is unique, and adapting to a new environment, playing style, and team is a complex process. Messi’s success in MLS should be celebrated as exceptional, but we shouldn’t expect every player to reach that level immediately.

However, Messi’s performance in MLS should not be underestimated. He is challenging expectations and demonstrating that the quality of soccer in North America is on the rise. His success could attract more international talent to the league, which would be beneficial for both MLS and soccer fans in the United States.

Messi in MLS is a story that is redefining what is possible for soccer players in American territory. His exceptional performance deserves recognition and applause, and perhaps he is just beginning to write his legacy in the North American league.