Lionel Messi's arrival in Major League Soccer (MLS) has been met with great enthusiasm and has had a significant impact on the league and Inter Miami, the team he joined. Messi's recent win with Inter Miami over Nashville SC not only secured the Leagues Cup title for his team, but also solidified his status as the most decorated soccer player of all time, with a total of 44 trophies.
The popularity of Inter Miami has skyrocketed since Messi's arrival, evident in the team's Instagram account, which has amassed 14.3 million followers, surpassing the follower count of any team in the NFL, NHL, or MLB. Subscriptions to MLS Season Pass, the exclusive broadcaster of matches owned by Apple TV+, have more than doubled since Messi joined, and his contract reportedly includes a revenue share of subscriptions.
Fans are also willing to pay top dollar to watch Messi play, as ticket prices for late-season games have surged by over 1,700% compared to last year. Tickets for a recent match between Inter Miami and the Philadelphia Union were listed as high as $16,200 each. Furthermore, Messi's Inter Miami jersey has been the top-selling jersey across all sports from mid-July to mid-August.
Messi's impact extends beyond the field and into the financial realm. His estimated net worth is $130 million, and he was ranked second on Forbes' list of highest-paid athletes this year. Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas, a Cuban-American businessman, is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
As Messi prepares to make his league match debut for Inter Miami, fans are eagerly anticipating his performance. While he has already made an impressive impact in the Leagues Cup, Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup semi-final against Cincinnati and Saturday's league game against the Red Bulls will provide further opportunities to witness his talent.
In summary, Lionel Messi's arrival in MLS has brought unprecedented attention, popularity, and financial success to Inter Miami and the league as a whole. His record-breaking achievements, massive social media following, and the surge in ticket sales and jersey purchases demonstrate the immense impact he has had in a short period of time. Fans and observers eagerly await his league match debut and hope to see his continued success in the MLS.