Messi's Absence from the MLS All-Star Team: A Decision Sparking Controversy

The exclusion of the Argentine superstar from Major League Soccer's squad surprises fans and raises questions about selection criteria
New York City FC v Inter Miami CF
New York City FC v Inter Miami CF / Rich Storry/GettyImages

In the latest formation of the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Team, a notable absence has sparked waves of surprise and debate among soccer fans worldwide. Lionel Messi, the renowned Argentine star who recently led his team to victory in the World Cup and holds the latest Ballon d'Or, was not chosen to be part of the MLS roster this season.

The decision seems to defy expectations, especially considering Messi's immediate impact since joining Inter Miami in July. The forward not only contributed to winning the Leagues Cup but also scored 11 goals and provided five assists in just 14 games. However, despite these impressive numbers, Messi's limited participation in MLS regular-season matches appears to have been decisive for his exclusion.

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The justification given is that Messi played only six games during the regular season, contributing one goal and two assists. Additionally, Inter Miami failed to secure a spot in the playoffs. However, this decision raises questions about the selection criteria adopted by the MLS, as the voting involves players, coaching staff, and journalists.

Lionel Messi
New York City FC v Inter Miami CF / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Not only Messi's exclusion but also the choice of the MLS Rookie of the Year award, given to Giorgos Giakoumakis of Atlanta United, sparks debate. Are the criteria purely based on statistics and playoff participation, or should they consider the overall impact and unique abilities of players like Messi?

The current scenario leaves fans eager for a clearer explanation of the MLS selection criteria and whether the decisions truly reflect the performance and influence of players throughout the season. The absence of Messi, one of the greatest names in the sport, undoubtedly adds an intriguing and controversial chapter to the narrative of the American soccer league this season.

  • Check out the MLS All-Star Team

Goalkeeper: Roman Bürki (St. Louis City).

Defenders: Matt Miazga (Cincinnati), Tim Parker (St. Louis City), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC).

Midfielders: Luciano Acosta (Cincinnati), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United), Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC).

Forwards: Denis Bouanga (Los Angeles FC), Giorgos Giakoumakis (Atlanta United), Cucho Hernández (Columbus Crew).