Messi’s legacy: Growth of U.S. Soccer

Messi’s legacy: Growth of U.S. Soccer

Photo courtesy of Devonaire Willoughby

Jesus Arce, Staff Writer

In the world of soccer, the figure of Lionel Messi signifies legacy, success and talent. His impact on the sport has undoubtedly been significant, reaching every corner of the world. In the United States, his footprint has also been large, and many fans have turned to soccer.

Since he arrived in Major League Soccer (MLS), Messi has acted as a center of inspiration for all those fans who previously did not watch soccer. Messi has also become an engine of growth for soccer in a country that has other more predominant sports such as basketball and baseball.

When Messi announced his departure from Barcelona in 2021, his influence was felt in countries such as France and England. Despite this, his arrival in the U.S. was imminent, arriving as a living legend at David Beckham’s Inter Miami.

His arrival has not only generated excitement but also attention, money and sponsors for the MLS. His presence has been a catalyst for even greater growth and economic expansion in the league.

According to Forbes magazine, the value of teams in the U.S. League has appreciated by 40.9% since Messi’s arrival. Companies such as Apple TV have taken over the MLS television rights because they know the revenue this represents.

His influence in the networks has not lagged behind either, where the official accounts of Inter Miami have increased their followers on Instagram from 1.9 million to 8 million. The same has happened on Twitter, from 250,000 to 520,000 since his arrival.

A significant aspect of the Messi effect is his ability to move masses and fill stadiums. The games have become must-see events, something that has never been experienced in the United States with soccer.

The real point to consider about the Messi effect will be when the FIFA World Cup arrives. The United States, Canada and Mexico will have the honor of hosting this tournament. The excitement on the part of the fans has been greater than ever due to the growth of soccer, where Messi has been the protagonist.

This World Cup will be special because never before have 48 teams come together to dispute it, whereas in previous editions there have only been 32 teams. Three countries as venues is also a novelty for this edition.

The organization of this event will bring millions of dollars from tourism, which can lead us to better appreciate the impact of this sport, which extends across borders and diverse cultures. According to the newspaper Mundo Deportivo, more than 4 billion spectators will watch the World Cup.

In short, Messi is not only a stellar MLS player but also a world reference for what soccer is all about. Taking his influence to other cultures, such as the U.S., his influence has been felt in the stands, courts, and schools. Elevating soccer to another level.

With the FIFA World Cup, we will see the true impact of soccer in this country, which in a few years may be a world power.

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