The recent announcement of Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami has sparked a division among fans and experts in Kerala, India. Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, leaving PSG and joining MLS has generated mixed reactions among football enthusiasts in the region. While some celebrate the prospect of witnessing Messi’s talents in the United States, others express opinions about his decision and its potential impact on his legacy.
The anticipation of Messi displaying his skills against American teams sparks excitement and elevates the local football scene to new heights.
Messi enthusiasts in the state had anticipated that the icon would either opt for a European team or consider a move to Saudi Arabia. The fans’ biggest disappointment lies in his absence from the Champions League. Shajurudheen, coach of Kerala United football team, expressed his thoughts on the matter.
The decision of Messi is somewhat like retirement from the game. His performance in the Qatar World Cup made many youngsters fans of the Argentina national team. His absence from mainstream football would disappoint his fans in Kerala as the majority cannot watch him live. His popularity is at the peak since winning World Cup and we do not wish him to disappear from the top leagues. It’s suicidal.
On the other hand, there are those who hold the belief that Messi’s decision could contribute to the increased popularity of football in the United States.
U Sharaf Ali, former Indian football team captain, stated,
“The US has no major achievements in football. It is a strategic move from them to bring the most popular player of the game to promote the sport there. There would be a mixed response from the fans, but those who love football would follow wherever he plays”
There are also those who believe that his decision might serve as inspiration for a new generation of talented players and contribute to the overall progress and advancement of football in the United States.
Asif M, former Kerala junior footballer stated,
Messi will make an impact in US football like the popularity Cristiano Ronaldo brought to the Saudi Pro League. It should not be considered a stupid decision by him. There could be a strategy behind it. He is a midfielder and he can prolong the career and we can watch him for a few more years”