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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Transfer to Inter Miami gets Messi

Lionel+Messi+celebrating+during+a+game+while+playing+for+Barcelona+FC.
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Lionel Messi celebrating during a game while playing for Barcelona FC.

The recent transfer of the seven-time Ballon d’Or recipient, four-time Champions League winner and World Cup champion Lionel Messi, from Paris Saint-German to Inter Miami, has sent ripples through the sports world. However, Messi going from the prestigious field of European soccer to playing in the United States is not good for competition in the sport.

Messi went from playing for PSG in France, in Ligue 1 competing for champion league trophies, to America, where the league receives far less respect due to the difference in talent.

To put this in perspective, this is like if Lebron James became a free agent and began playing basketball in China.

Messi is signed for two and a half years in Miami for $60 million per season. His contract differs from most as he also gets an ownership stake in the club he plays for, which ultimately sets a precedent that could hurt sports in the long run.

When Messi went to play in the States, it was similar to what Cristiano Ronaldo did. Ronaldo signed a contract for $75 million per season through the summer of 2025 to play in the Saudi League. This league also doesn’t have the talent or respect the European leagues do. Messi’s decision shows what Ronaldo did wasn’t a one-time thing and that it could be a trend to look for in the future. 

It is also historic for the sport that two of the best players of a generation are not playing in the top leagues. This is a problem because nothing is stopping other players from going to irrelevant leagues just to take the money. 

You can’t compare the talent of the MLS to, say, the Premier League for awards like the Ballon d’Or. Messi plays in a league with a very obvious talent deficit. His stats might be better, however, someone who plays in Europe has better competition, so their stats are more valuable. He shouldn’t even be considered for an award like the Ballon d’Or, as the competition he plays isn’t good enough.

Measuring players from this generation could be a problem, as Messi would have inflated stats – his competition is making him look better. Using leagues with a lot of money and a talent deficit, as pseudo-retirement homes, is a problem unique to soccer. 

If other leagues can catch up and make the same amount of money as leagues in Europe, it would be a major problem. The best players in the world could be spread out and maybe not even play each other. People watch to see the Messi vs. Ronaldo type of matchups, and if money is the only thing players care about there is nothing keeping the best players in competition. The best in the world should be playing against the best in the world. 

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About the Contributor
Avery Martin, Staff Writer | he/him
Avery is a journalism major from Burlington, Vermont. He want to work in sports journalism after graduation. At Suffolk, he aims to be involved with the community and works with the Center for Community Engagement.

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