How Lionel Messi is Transforming Inter Miami into a Title Contender

No one knows how long Lionel Messi will stay at Inter Miami, but the eighth-time Ballon d'Or winner has made a tremendous impact at the club. First was how his signing announcement broke the internet. The club's Instagram page grew from 900,000 followers to 4.5 million within 24 hours of the announcement. This was five times the numbers it did in the previous five years before his arrival. Almost a year later, the Inter Miami Instagram page is edging towards 20 million followers. There has also been tremendous growth in numbers on X, Facebook, and TikTok.

How about Football and Performance?

Messi’s arrival couldn't be scripted any better. The Argentinian made his impact on the football pitch as well. Just two months into his time at the club, Inter Miami won its first-ever trophy since it was founded in 2018. Messi led the side to the Leagues Cup tournament that featured all teams from the MLS and LIGA MX. They defeated Nashville SC 10-9 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the final. The superstar was crowned the tournament's best player. He also scored the highest number of goals, with 10 in the locker.

Messi also helped Inter Miami into the U.S. Open Cup final a few weeks later. However, due to fitness issues, the former Barcelona man couldn't feature in the 2-1 loss to Houston Dynamo FC.

As a result of their Leagues Cup triumph, Inter Miami qualified for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup for the first time. Although they couldn't go past the quarter-finals following a 5-2 loss on aggregate to Monterrey, it was an excellent experience for them.

Fresh from injuries, the 36-year-old has started the 2024 season brilliantly. Inter Miami sit top of the Eastern Conference with six wins and three draws in their first 11 games. Messi acquired nine goals and seven assists in his first seven appearances of the season. He might lead the team to the MLS Cup triumph if he continues his blistering form and stays fit until the end of the season.

As a result of his prodigy, many sportsbooks have placed him as one of the favorites to finish the season as the highest goalscorer. Many newly licensed betting platforms have also provided odds for all the Inter Miami games for the season. Bettors have several new sportsbook apps to choose from, such as Fanatics, Hard Rock Bet, Underdog, and more. The upcoming season will cause a surge in the use of these apps for sure, but users can also bet on other soccer leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga, and UEFA Champions League.

What Next After His Contract?

Lionel Messi signed a two-and-a-half contract when he joined Inter Miami in July 2023. The deal is expected to last until the end of 2025. There is no indication he won't honor his contract until the final day. His presence pulled the likes of Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, and Jordi Alba to the team, and he now has familiar faces around the dressing room. Despite reports speculating Messi could leave the franchise in 2025, Inter Miami fans can expect to enjoy the World Cup winner at least until the end of his contract.