How long would it take before we see the second coming? Remember when David Beckham wanted a new challenge or maybe he wanted to expand the brand? Whatever the real case may be for his coming to the United States to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy it sure worked for his image and MLS. What if Lionel Messi were to follow in Beckham’s footsteps and head over to the US to play for NYC FC?
Would it have a negative impact on him internationally?
For years, media and fans have criticized Messi for his failures and you know the saying, “you never miss a good thing until it’s gone”. Well, maybe Messi needs to call their bluff and see what really happens. Messi has been considered the best soccer player in the world, however, a World Cup has eluded him for Argentina.
Messi, much like Beckham before him has done everything he can on the International and Domestic level, however, it’s the National level that has fans wanting to put an asterisk next to their achievements. There comes a point when you realize that you have dominated a certain sport that you now look for another challenge. What hasn’t Messi done for Barcelona that he feels he needs to achieve? If winning the World Cup is still tops on his list then he can still do that while playing in the MLS.
What it may boil down to are comfortability and money. Messi is loved in his country and is paid like a king and while he may not see the type of contract he does for his International play, he could make up for in endorsements the same way Beckham did. With reports that Barcelona is set to pay Messi $35M per year with a new 5-year deal, that may scare away any MLS team. Beckham was 31 at the time he decided to join the Galaxy, however, this new deal will put Messi at 34 at the end of the deal. If he can continue to play at a high rate until then, any MLS team should be able to approach him with a $10M per year deal.
But what if Messi has no wishes to follow in Beckham’s footsteps?
It would be a shame. Soccer is still not as popular in America as it is everywhere else in the world. However, when Beckham came to the Galaxy, he was the hottest ticket. The same can be said for Messi. The endorsements that he could garner while playing for NYC or any other team would be out of this world. But that all depends if it’s the money he’s chasing or the greatness.
If Messi wants to be known as the best in the world then he must conquer all levels as such. No World Cup doesn’t mean that he’s not the greatest. It means that his team wasn’t the best. If there was a one-on-one match then he would have at least 15 Cups by now. Let’s say he does get one– then what? Will he go for more or will he believe that he has accomplished all that he set out to do?
If so, then his next move should very well be MLS.