Lionel Messi has revolutionized the American market. Since the Argentinian star arrived in Miami, the social and economic impact has been brutal on every level. MLS executive vice president of sports products and competition Nelson Rodríguez spoke to Olé Summit Sports about this topic and more.
Tournament directors hope to empower the growing market with the arrival of players like Rio, look back and compare with the arrival of other stars, and assume the movement will have an impact on the football world for years, if not decades.
On his journey in MLS
“The league has grown tremendously since its inception in 1996. Since 2008 we have had a firm ambition to make MLS your destination league as a player, coach, referee or anyone else. .Messi has proven that. It is worth noting that Beckham was there in 2007 and had a big influence in bringing Messi to Miami, in addition to the Maas brothers who convinced Messi. This This growth is attributed to the owners.”
Impact of Messi’s arrival on numbers
“This year we have an agreement with Apple that the three most-watched games are Messi’s first three games. In Los Angeles, a ticket to see Messi is more expensive than a ticket to watch the US Soccer team in the city for the entire season. I’m a child of Pele’s universe and that’s where football bites me. Messi is the same for many boys and girls.”
What does Messi mean to the game?
“Messi’s arrival is something else. Personally, I told my teammates that they would not imagine the impact that Messi would have. In fact, I didn’t dare to imagine either. The numbers are unbelievable. And this This impact will not be felt for the next 10, 15 or 20 years. “We are proud that he has chosen Inter Miami and MLS to continue his career. “
The difference between Messi and Beckham joining the league
“Messi is ordinary, he is different from Beckham: he is a celebrity, they know him outside the sports pages, while Leo has won everything in sports with his grace and humility, they have never heard a bad word. He is a father-of-three and has dedicated goals for them. “To see the giants of American sport want to meet him shows the respect he has around the world. “
Strategies to make Major League Soccer more attractive
“Messi and Beckham’s link also includes franchise players. Each team can have three. There is a salary cap for the entire team, but for the team it is all paid by the owner and there is no limit. “It is a throw-away Way to open up the ambitions of certain teams and not make the league a league like Germany, which has had championships for the last eleven years. “
It’s an honor to have Messi
“Messi has been in MLS before and will be after. This is special. The talent of this player is impressive and for me he is unique. “We are proud that he has chosen Inter Miami and Major League Soccer to continue his career. “
The weight of Beckham and other owners in this new movement
“It all depends on our owners. It is the strength of this group that has allowed this league to grow: the numbers do not lie and show the commitment and dedication of the owners to growing this sport in the United States. There are already five billion Dollars are invested in the stadium … and they’re invested in the players.” (Four)