After joining Inter Miami, Lionel Messi delivered a scathing evaluation of the MLS.
Messi was enticed to join David Beckham’s company on a two-and-a-half-year contract after leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last summer in one of the greatest moves in sporting history.
Messi is estimated to earn $60 million per year at Inter, plus a cut of MLS Season Pass subscriptions with Apple as well as Adidas shirts sold.
In his first season, he scored 11 goals in 14 games, helping Inter win the League Cup on penalties and bringing them to the US Open Cup final before losing to Houston Dynamo.
Messi was accompanied at the DRV PNK Stadium by Barcelona colleagues Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
The excitement surrounding his MLS arrival was unprecedented, although Messi confessed that the standard was not quite on par with La Liga and Ligue One.
“I said it several times and it is a reality – I will always try to compete to the maximum and I am the first to know when I can be there and when I can’t,” Messi said when questioned about playing in the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America.
“I am also aware that I went to a minor league, but a lot happens because of the way one faces it and competes.”
Cristiano Ronaldo stated in July that the Saudi Pro League, in which he plays, is “better” than the MLS and will soon overtake the Turkish Super Lig and Eredivisie.
Messi will be 37 next year, but he remains optimistic about Argentina’s chances after recent Copa America and World Cup victories.
The next Copa America will be held in the United States, with six CONCACAF teams competing.
“As long as I feel that I’m fine and I can continue contributing, I’m going to do it,” Messi explained.
“Today the only thing I think about is getting to the Copa América well and being able to compete in it. Fighting it again like we always did, trying to be champions.”