Lionel Messi signed with Inter Miami of the MLS. Twitter had a field day.
Lionel Messi is considered by many the greatest soccer player in the world. Traditionally the greatest soccer players in the world don’t play in America.
The MLS has expanded significantly in recent years, but the true soccer powerhouses — well, football — lie elsewhere, mostly in Europe. Messi could be shifting the tides.
The Argentinian megastar has reportedly deiced to sign with Inter Miami of the MLS.
Twitter reacts to Lionel Messi’s shocking decision to sign with Inter Miami
Messi’s decision reportedly came down to Miami or Barcelona, but the 35-year-old ultimately landed on U.S. soil. He is expected to drive new viewers to the MLS and the league could even cut him in on revenue generated by their new Apple TV deal, according to the Athletic.
Naturally, soccer Twitter was astir once the news broke. Here are the best tweets and memes from a historic morning in South Beach.
Messi’s arrival in the States will certainly grow the sport in new and exciting ways. Soccer has long lagged behind basketball, baseball, and (American) football on domestic soil, but there isn’t a more popular sport globally and Messi is arguably its biggest star. He will get Americans to flip the station and watch — not to mention all the international viewers he will draw to MLS games.
While Messi isn’t the first European star to make the pilgrimage to America, he’s certainly the biggest and most talented. He has the potential to dominate the MLS and one has to imagine last-place Inter Miami will take a nice jump in the standings with Messi on board.
How often does the biggest star in a sport join the worst team in a tier-C league? Not very often, so this should be interesting to watch unfold, if nothing else.