“If Messi Wants Privacy in America..” – Wanting to Stay Out of ‘Spotlight’, Lionel Messi Warned About Soccer’s Popularity in US

Published 07/16/2023, 8:30 AM EDT

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Lionel Messi has shaken the soccer world ever since he landed in Florida. The Argentinian superstar has a record-breaking contract in place with Inter Miami and will be living the American dream for two years, perhaps more. While he has yet to set foot on the pitch, La Pulga seems to be soaking in the city.

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Often for the European elites, especially for someone as iconic as Messi, a large factor in moving to the MLS includes staying out of the spotlight. The former Barcelona man, however, has received a major warning about the country’s popularity of soccer.

Lionel Messi forewarned about America’s soccer popularity

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A few days ago, Messi was spotted at a local supermarket doing grocery shopping with his family. Interestingly, he wasn’t bothered by a huge number of fans asking for pictures and autographs. Eventually, one netizen did recognize La Pulga and shared the glimpses on social media. Since then, everyone has been talking about his unbothered snap. Surprisingly, one netizen defended Messi on Twitter.

He urged everyone to leave the player alone, as it was due to privacy issues that he came to the U.S. However, this was seemingly defended by former USMNT star and soccer analyst Alexi Lalas. He retweeted and wrote, “It’s 2023 in America, soccer is not niche anymore, Messi is one of the most famous humans on Earth, and everyone documents everything. If Messi wants privacy in America he can find it, but if he thought he was just gonna walk through Miami anonymously, he’s in for a surprise.”

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Apparently, Lalas has warned Messi about soccer’s popularity in the U.S. He insists that he is open to finding privacy for his own comfort. However, if he tries to anonymously wander on the streets of Miami, he may be surprised by the public’s response. Lalas also believes that everyone is aware of the Argentine, and wherever he goes, people may recognize him.

While it’s a good thing to see Messi’s popularity, it also brings bad news for the player. The striker won’t be much impressed with such words, as he came to Miami with a different idea in mind.

What was the reason La Pulga came to the U.S?

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Messi signing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami isn’t just a random decision. Rather, it is a well-cooked idea in La Pulga’s mind. Earlier, when Messi was asked about his decision to sign for Inter Miami, he said, “I’m at a point where I want to step out of the spotlight a bit, think more about my family. I had two years where I was so unhappy on a personal level that I didn’t enjoy it.”

via Imago

It’s clear that for Messi, his family was the major catalyst that led him to move to Florida. Of course, popularity is merely an issue, but he did make a decision while keeping in mind the American audience. On the other hand, it’s not completely possible for him to dribble past a local Miami crowd without getting recognized. Of course, only if he isn’t in disguise. Be that as it may, the fan following for Messi in the United States is on a historic rise.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra

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Abhishek Mishra is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. Abhishek's love for soccer began during his childhood days when he spent most of his time playing and watching the sport. His early exposure to soccer earned him many accolades at district and zonal levels, making him a true sports enthusiast.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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