According to ESPN, Messi even became the first foreign football player to be included in the ten most famous athletes in the United States. As the sport’s popularity in the country continues to grow, it’s clear that this popularity mainly comes from foreign players, national teams, clubs and leagues. Major League Soccer has benefited from the best college offerings (producing some of the best American MLS players) to high-paying players and imports. It will continue to benefit from the external development of its players. Those who follow and care about Major League Soccer stopped paying close attention to the suffocating European tabloids long ago.

If anyone had said during the 2013 MLS All-Star Game that both Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley would return to the MLS before the 2014 season started, I think most league fans would laugh at the idea. This question is self-consciously disguised as a marketing gimmick to stir up debate and may convince people that MLS is capable of producing a world-class player. Of course, there are disputes, but it must be admitted that Messi has been the best player for almost 15 years.

Widely regarded as the best footballer globally, Messi is still underestimated, as silly as it sounds. Messi is already on the shortlist of the greatest players of all time, a four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, and he still has a few more years to show his best game. Widely regarded as the second-best player in the world, Messi had the misfortune of playing in Ronaldo’s shadow for much of his career.

Barcelona played the pre-season Gamper Trophy against Juventus the day Messi tearfully announced his retirement. If Messi did this, we would hear about it endlessly; it’s a phrase when a lesser-known player does something unique. A sense of accomplishment will grow over the years just from being there the day Messi did it, desperation almost from being a part of it somehow.

Messi is under agreement with Paris Saint-Germain until next year, with a third-year option. Nevertheless, his career is drawing to a close, and others will wonder what comes ahead for him after his time in Paris. After Lionel Messi’s European football career comes to an end, many expect the 34-year-old to join an MLS club, most likely Inter Miami. However, one manager believes that the Argentine would not need to appear in the North American league to make a name for himself in the United States. In an interview with Goal, Charlotte FC manager Miguel Angel Ramirez stated that Messi’s celebrity is sufficient to expand the game.