Lionel Messi: shining in the MLS and among the best right-wingers in the world

Messi has been voted the sixth best right winger in the world by FourFourTwo
St Louis City SC v Inter Miami CF
St Louis City SC v Inter Miami CF / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Lionel Messi continues to captivate the football world even after leaving the European spotlight. He was ranked by FourFourTwo magazine as the sixth-best right winger in the world. Despite being away from the most prestigious leagues, Messi has not only maintained his high-level performance but also brought new brilliance to the MLS.

Messi's presence in the MLS has made Inter Miami the center of attention. In a list of ten right-wingers, Messi appears in sixth place, behind names such as Bukayo Saka (1st/Arsenal), Mohamed Salah (2nd/Liverpool), Rodrygo (3rd/Real Madrid), Leroy Sané (4th/Bayern Munich), and Ousmane Dembélé (5th/PSG). The list is completed by Lamine Yamal (7th/Barcelona), Michael Olise (8th/Crystal Palace), Takefusa Kubo (9th/Real Sociedad), and Xavi Simons (10th/RB Leipzig).

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

According to the magazine, "the standard of opponents in the MLS means he no longer troubles the top of this type of list," explaining his position. Although the MLS is not among the strongest leagues in the world, it is gradually improving. This does not diminish Messi's importance. Ask any Argentine fan, and they will say that Messi is still crucial for the Albiceleste national team, always being decisive, just as he is for Inter Miami.

In just 12 games in the MLS, Messi has scored in every one of them and tallied nine assists, a record in the league. He stood out especially in a match against the New York Red Bulls in May, where he became the first player in the league to provide five assists in a single game. His precise passes and his ability in the final third of the field have been deadly, making him indispensable for Inter Miami.

But Messi's influence goes beyond the pitch. His arrival has elevated the status of the MLS, integrating the league into American sports culture in an unprecedented way. Messi's impact is not just financial; he has brought visibility and prestige with his name, making Inter Miami start the season as a favorite.

With Messi on the field, opponents are forced to improve tactically, resulting in more balanced and strategically challenging matches. Messi's arrival in the MLS is more than just a simple move. The MLS is now one of the fastest-growing leagues in the world, and Messi's presence is a crucial factor in this growth, encouraging even other players to cross the Atlantic.

Follow MLS Multiplex on Facebook.