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“Lionel Messi will be huge for MLS – but the standard right now is like La Liga 2”

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“Lionel Messi will be huge for MLS – but the standard right now is like La Liga 2”

Lionel Messi’s arrival at Inter Miami has caused a wave of excitement in the Sunshine State, however, there are still many question marks about the quality of MLS.

Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes the standard of football in MLS is as good as the second division of Spanish football.

The American league recently got a boost with the arrival of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. He was finally revealed as an Inter Miami player alongside David Beckham.

Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes the standard of football in MLS is as good as the second division of Spanish football.

The American league recently got a boost with the arrival of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. He was finally revealed as an Inter Miami player alongside David Beckham.

“It’s really hard to compare MLS to any standard of English football because the style is so different,” Friedel told OLBG. “The Championship for example is a midweek to weekend break throughout the season, especially in those bleak winter months.

“It’s percentage games, it’s a test of endurance over a 46-game season. There are some great teams in the league.

“But it’s a melting pot of cultures here, there are a lot of players from Central and South America. You have a lot of players raised in America, in Florida, Texas and southern California, which is very Latin based in the culture and style of football.

“So it would be easier to compare it to Portugal or the Spanish style of football. Spain might be a better comparison, so I’d say it’s like La Liga 2. But we’re getting better and better.”

Ironically, Messi will join a team that has had a tough campaign so far. Days after Messi announced he would be moving to the Sunshine State, Phil Neville was sacked as manager of Inter Miami with the MLS Eastern Conference bottom club.

Messi will play under his former Barcelona and Argentina coach Tata Martino, who was appointed shortly after Neville’s sacking.

Lionel Messi’s first words at Inter Miami as jersey number and first game are confirmed

Inter Miami have finally announced the signing of legendary Argentine striker Lionel Messi, who has joined the David Beckham-owned MLS side on a two-year deal.

Lionel Messi has expressed his excitement about joining David Beckham’s Inter Miami after finally being scouted by the MLS side.

The Argentine forward has signed a two-year deal with Inter Miami, who are currently the worst team in the Eastern Conference. Messi is also said to have an option for a third year in his contract as well.

After leaving Paris Saint Germain at the end of last season, the 36-year-old has been linked with a return to Barcelona or a move to Saudi Arabia. However, the World Cup-winning captain has now opted to move stateside to join Inter Miami.

And speaking after announcing his arrival in Miami, the former Barcelona star, who will wear the No 10 shirt, revealed he is looking forward to the next chapter of his career.

“I am very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” Messi said. “This is a fantastic opportunity and together we will continue to build this beautiful project. The idea is to work together to achieve the objectives we have set and I am very eager to start helping here in my new home.”

Messi will first be available for selection for Inter Miami when they face LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the opening match of the League Cup on July 21.

Soccer officials in America will be hoping that Messi’s arrival will significantly increase the popularity of MLS, as well as attract a host of new viewers to the league itself.

In 2026, the United States, along with Canada and Mexico, will host the next FIFA Men’s World Cup, meaning Messi’s move to Miami could play a huge role in making soccer the most popular in NFL or NBA.

Messi will also be joined in Miami by his former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets, with Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta also linked with a move to the MLS side.

And Messi’s move has also been warmly welcomed by Beckham, who called the announcement of his signing a “dream”.

“Ten years ago, when I started my journey to build a new team in Miami, I said that I dreamed of bringing the greatest players in the world to this amazing city,” said Beckham.

“Today that dream came true. I couldn’t be more proud that a player of Leo’s caliber is joining our club, but I’m also happy to welcome a good friend, a wonderful person and his beautiful family to join our Inter community Miami.”

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