Lionel Messi has changed the club's trajectory forever. PIC: Al Bello, Getty Images
When Lionel Messi signed with Inter Miami in July 2023, it was a major coup for the club and the MLS. One of the greatest players of all time, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was obviously expected to have a major impact on the team and on the soccer scene in the US. And so far, the results that Inter Miami has seen are nothing short of club-changing...and league-changing.
Messi has certainly exceeded his expectations on the field so far. In his first nine appearances for Inter Miami, he has scored 11 goals and dished out 5 assists. He's also helped the team to a 6-0-3 record, including a victory in the Leagues Cup final and a victory against FC Cincinnati in the US Open Cup. Plenty of these games haven't even been close; including a 4-1 win over Philadelphia Union, 4-0 over Charlotte FC, and 4-0 over Atlanta United.
Messi has quite obviously improved the team's on-field performance, but it can't be understated how big the turnaround for the club has been this season. Inter Miami was struggling in the bottom portion of the table before Messi joined the team, but they have been one of the best teams in the MLS since his arrival. They are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, and they are considered to be one of the favorites to win the MLS Cup.
The impact of Messi has undisputedly changed Inter Miami's trajectory forever. After his arrival, the club's Instagram followers rose from 1 million to just over 5 million - now they've eclipsed almost 15 million as of the end of the month. Overall, the club's social media following has increased by over 500% since Messi's arrival. Ticket sales have also skyrocketed, with average ticket costs to see Messi in an away stadium well over the $500 range.
Messi's impact on Inter Miami has been nothing short of incredible. He has helped to turn the team around, and he has made them a legitimate contender for the MLS Cup. It is still early days, but Messi's arrival has already had a major impact on the MLS, and it is sure to continue to do so for many years to come.
There is no doubt that Lionel Messi has been a major factor in Inter Miami's resurgence. He is one of the greatest players of all time, and his arrival has helped to put the team on the map. Inter Miami is now a team to be reckoned with, and they are sure to be a force in the MLS for many years to come.