LeBron James Hails Messi's MLS Impact as Game-Changing

Inter Miami's new star, Messi, stuns in debut game.

by Faizan Chaudhary
LeBron James Hails Messi's MLS Impact as Game-Changing
© Al Bello/Getty Images

NBA icon LeBron James recently shared his insights on soccer legend Lionel Messi's impactful journey to Major League Soccer (MLS) with Inter Miami. This transition marks a pivotal moment in the sports world, as Messi's presence in the MLS has significantly uplifted the league's status.

Last summer, Lionel Messi made a significant move from Europe to Inter Miami, concluding his decorated and trophy-rich career in European football. Before settling on MLS, Messi had lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia and even contemplated a return to Barcelona.

However, he chose the MLS in July, a decision that was received with immense enthusiasm and fanfare. His debut in the Leagues Cup, a spectacle watched by many global superstars, was a testament to his widespread influence.

LeBron Witnesses Messi's Debut

LeBron James, the basketball superstar, was present at the DRV PNK Stadium in July when Messi, coming off the bench, faced Mexican team Cruz Azul.

Messi's performance was nothing short of spectacular, scoring a decisive stoppage-time free-kick, leading Inter Miami to a 2-1 victory. This marked Messi's grand introduction to the American soccer scene. In an interview with ESPN's Dave McMenamin, LeBron James, a star of the Los Angeles Lakers, expressed his admiration for Messi, acknowledging the transformative effect Messi has had on the MLS.

He highlighted how Messi's arrival has not only raised the league's profile but also captivated a new demographic of soccer enthusiasts in the United States. James remarked, "Witnessing Lionel Messi, the GOAT of soccer, bring his extraordinary talent to the MLS is a game-changer.

His presence not only advances the league but also kindles a passion for soccer among a new generation of fans in America. Messi's dedication, work ethic, and skill set are unparalleled, and I hold immense respect and admiration for all he has accomplished.

I extend my best wishes to him." Lionel Messi is doubtful for Inter Miami's upcoming friendly match. After missing the team's 4-1 victory against a Hong Kong XI, Messi's participation in the next preseason game remains uncertain due to a hamstring injury.

The team is scheduled to face Japanese club Vissel Kobe on February 7, but Messi's injury might sideline him. Messi, speaking to the press in Tokyo, shared his disappointment at missing the Hong Kong game due to muscle discomfort.

He expressed his eagerness to play in the concluding match of their demanding tour in Japan, with his condition to be assessed post-training to determine his availability. Inter Miami, under the guidance of coach Gerardo Martino, is in the midst of their preseason preparations, aiming to find their optimal form ahead of the 2024 MLS season.

The team's preseason record currently stands at one win, three losses, and one draw, indicating areas for improvement and cohesion as the season approaches.

Lebron James