It seems almost impossible to believe, but it’s happening. Lionel Messi is going to be an Inter Miami player.
Yes, you read that correctly. The greatest player to ever touch a soccer ball is now heading to a team that plays its home games in a venue called DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Up is down. Left is right. MLS roster “rules” are in shambles.
There’s little doubt that Messi will dominate MLS. Even at age 35, he’s still doing ridiculous things on the soccer field. He led Argentina to the World Cup trophy just over six months ago and wracked up a combined 40 goals and assists in Ligue 1 and Champions League play for Paris Saint-Germain this past season.
But while Messi will dominate MLS, his teammates...probably won’t.
So far this year, Miami are averaging less than one point per game and are languishing in the league’s basement. With their two best defensive midfielders out for months with knee injuries and a roster that’s been without a playmaker (because, uh, they’ve been waiting for Messi), Miami have been truly terrible this year.
There are a host of big-picture, off-field discussions to be had about how Messi can impact MLS and soccer in the U.S., but it’s that juxtaposition between Messi and his teammates that could provide the best content right from the jump. Simply put, Messi will be playing with some soccer players that will make him very, very irritated. Why? Well, because they’re…how do I put this kindly…not Champions League-level players.
So in celebration of Messi’s decision to sign for Inter Miami, we’re introducing the Messi Approval Meter as we examine which players he’ll most and least like playing with in Miami.