Messi says MLS poised to catch up with Europe while praising the USMNT

Lionel Messi says MLS is poised to catch up with Europe’s top leagues while praising the USMNT ahead of Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup final

  • Inter Miami is set to face off against Nashville FC in the Leagues Cup Final
  • The United States won recent CONCAF Nations League earlier this summer
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Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi spoke on the state of American soccer ahead of his team’s highly anticipated Leagues Cup final – and he had all positive words for both MLS and the USMNT.

Messi and his Miami stadium are set to play against Nashville FC in both team’s first-ever chance to lift the trophy.

And the Argentina World Cup winner believes MLS can soon equal the standards of European soccer if it continues on the current pathway. 

‘I think it has every opportunity to do so,’ Messi stated. ‘That growth depends a lot on the league. It’s an ideal moment to grow. There are important competitions upcoming that will be played in this country.’

The competitions Messi was referring to were the upcoming 2024 Copa America and 2026 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Lionel Messi has praised both Major League Soccer and the United States Men’s National Team

The Word Cup winner said he believes that MLS can close the gap between European leagues

He also praised the USMNT for growing a lot in the last year and being very competitive

‘It’s time for the league to make that leap and finish growing, finish looking for what it’s been seeking for a while,’ Messi continued. 

‘Everything is in place here to witness top-level football because of the country, the structure, a bunch of things.’ 

Messi also had some kind words for those who have reached the highest levels of US soccer with the national team.

‘I think that soccer in the U.S. has grown a lot in this last year,’ Messi said. ‘It has shown that in the results the USMNT have had lately. 

‘It was a great squad in the World Cup, too. Very competitive. It held its own against every team it had on its slate. It’s getting closer and closer to the level of Mexican soccer.

‘This Leagues Cup demonstrated that. There is no Mexican team in the final. While you can question a lot of things, the reality is all the matches were very close, very competitive.’

‘Anybody can beat anyone else. I get the sense that the same happens in [MLS]. It’s a competitive one where anybody can win. One where the home team is strong, and it’s difficult to win away. I’ll still be getting to know a little bit of that after my first match.’ 

Regardless of how strong the league may or may not be Messi has been in outstanding form since debuting for Miami.

He has gone on to score nine goals in six Leagues Cup games since his debut, as the team have torn through the competition since his arrival. 

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