After playing a friendly match in China, Messi will soon debut in Major League Soccer (from now on referred to as MLS).
How different is the American League that Messi joined from the European football league? Can the arrival of King Messi football make football popular in the United States?
Messi’s joining makes fans surge.
After Messi joined Inter Miami, the number of fans of the club on social platforms increased from 1 million to 5.5 million in one day. On July 21, Messi will make his debut in the American League. The ticket price for this game has increased by 23 times, and finding a ticket is challenging.
On the other hand, the Paris Saint-Germain club, where Messi played before, is losing fans quickly.
What do Americans think of Messi’s joining? Mr. Yang, a Wuhan native who has lived in Miami for many years, told the Jimu News reporter that Messi’s joining is exciting news for those who like football. It also has a high degree of attention in the local area. But he also bluntly said that football is not yet ranked in the top three most popular sports in the United States, so Messi’s arrival may not become “big news for everyone” like in areas where football is popular, “People who like football will, of course, be very excited, and those who don’t watch football will wonder: Who is Messi?”
Mr. Yang said that American football had made great progress in recent years, and its performance in the World Cup is not bad. “From what I can see, the number of Americans participating in football is increasing, but women’s football is developing better at present. .”
Can Messi single-handedly elevate football’s status in America? Mr. Yang believes that Messi should make more Americans like football, but football still needs to be improved to surpass rugby, basketball, baseball, and other sports. One thing is still certain: the arrival of Messi will bring more attention to the MLS around the world, “Just like after Ronaldo went to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi League also began to attract more attention. “This is a very good foreshadowing for the next World Cup in the United States and Mexico.
For the “ball king” Messi, in addition to changing into the pink and black jerseys of Miami International, there are also completely different game rules and characteristics of the MLS, which requires him to adapt as soon as possible.
The league format is completely different.
Messi (Source: Xinhua News Agency)
Major League Soccer is the highest professional football league in the United States, managed by the American Football Association. Major League consists of 26 American teams and 3 Canadian teams. Compared with the competition system of the European League, its competition system is quite different.
First of all, the production of the MLS champion is more complicated than that of the European Union League. The game is divided into the regular season and the playoffs. Each team will plays 34 games during this regular season, 17 at the home and 17 away. Three points for each win, 1 point for each draw, and no points for a loss. In the regular season, the team with the highest score is not the league champion but the “top seed” in the playoffs. So After this regular season, the top seven teams in each division in the Eastern and Western divisions will directly qualify for the playoffs, and the teams ranked 8th and 9th in each division will participate in a single-elimination competition. Wild card game, the winner will be eligible for the playoffs.
The playoffs are a three-game two-win system, and the two teams that fight to the end can compete for the MLS championship trophy. Therefore, the team with the most points in the regular season does not necessarily become the season’s champion.
Such a competition system has completely different requirements on the physical state of the players, so Messi needs to adjust himself to adapt to the new rhythm. However, he doesn’t need to worry too much because there is no relegation in Major League Soccer. Even if the performance in the previous season is not good, everyone will return to the same starting line in the next season.
Second, MLS has a different season than Europe. The Europa League usually starts in August and continues until the end of May of the following year. Major League Soccer may play from February to December a year. It must be addressed that the climates of the north and south of the United States are very different, which also means that it is not surprising that the team encounters wind, snow, winter, or high temperature and heat during the game.
In addition, it takes more time for teams in the league to travel to and from away games. For example, if Miami International wants to go to the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps, it needs to fly 7 hours, which is unimaginable in Europe.
Variety of venue hardware
Messi (Source: Xinhua News Agency)
In response to Messi’s arrival, the local media in the United States once analyzed the current situation of American football stadiums. According to reports, the United States has the best stadiums in the world. Still, those super stadiums with an investment of more than one billion U.S. dollars are often built for rugby league teams, and some football clubs can also play in such stadiums, such as Atlanta United. Team games will take place in the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Inter Miami, where Messi joined, uses the DRV PNK Stadium as its home stadium, which can accommodate nearly 20,000 spectators.
DRV PNK Stadium (Source: Internet)
In the MLS, many clubs use this type of stadium with a capacity of about 10,000 to 30,000 people. It is qualified for football matches, but it is still a level behind the stadiums of European giants.
But this is not all of the MLS. After all, there are still some teams whose venues are embarrassing. For example, the New York City Football Club plays at Yankee Stadium. The Tampa Bay Rowing Team plays in an abandoned baseball stadium.
Considering the home and away system of the football league, it is possible to play football on a baseball field, which is one of the realities that Messi needs to face.
In addition to the field, the American stadium focuses on artificial turf. The reason for using artificial turf is that it is easier to switch back and forth when dealing with different competitions or holding concerts. But artificial turf is less comfortable for football than high-quality natural turf. Previously, many players who came to the MLS from Europe, including Beckham, gave various negative comments on the artificial turf.
Messi, who is first-class in technology but has entered an advanced age after all, how to protect himself from injury on artificial turf may be one of the important issues he needs to consider.
The All-Star Game is like a holiday.
Of course, Major League Soccer also has its highlight scene-the All-Star Game.
In the All-Star Game of Major League Soccer, a team composed of the best players in the league plays an exhibition game against a team invited from abroad. Arsenal in the Premier League was invited to participate in the All-Star Game.
How do the best players in the league come about? League commissioners nominate some, and fans vote for some to ensure that high-level and popular players will not be left behind as much as possible.
Inter Miami has announced that Messi will wear the No. 10 jersey. Can he successfully appear in the All-Star Game?
During the All-Star game of the American League, in addition to the game, there are a large number of celebrity parties and other activities. It is not so much an All-Star game as it is an entertainment event or a festival.
Must face the pursuit of the media
Messi (Source: Xinhua News Agency)
The media cannot track players anytime and anywhere in the European League. Especially places like the locker room are heavily guarded, and only team members can enter and exit. If the media wants to interview players, it is either at the press conference or in the mixed area of the stadium. But in the U.S., the league requires the locker room to be open to the media, and reporters can go in and interview whoever they want to ask questions.
This also means that, as a superstar, Messi will face the tracking and questions of the media. Messi has always kept a low profile, lacking an important independent space in the dressing room; I wonder if it will cause trouble for him.
When Messi joined the MLS, he said that there were two reasons. One was to spend more time with his family, and the other was to enjoy football. He told the media: “I am ready and looking forward to facing this new challenge.” The MLS responded on social platforms: “We are also ready.”
The American media said it is lucky for American fans that a high-level athlete like Messi joined the American League. Of course, for Messi himself, it will take some time to adapt to this completely different football world. But in any case, I still hope he can enjoy the joy of football.