Soccer Fans Wonder Just How Bad MLS Actually Is After Leo Messi’s Latest Outing

lionel messi playing for inter miami

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Lionel Messi and his new team Inter Miami thrashed the Philadelphia Union, who are among the best teams in Major League Soccer, by a score of 4-1 during the Leagues Cup semifinal on Tuesday, August 15.

The match featured Messi scoring his ninth goal since arriving in the United States, which is made even more impressive by the fact that he’s racked up that many goals in just nine games.

His latest goal, scored in the 20th minute of Tuesday night’s match, saw Messi strike a low-driven shot into the bottom corner of Philly’s net from about 35+ yards out.

And while it was obviously a perfectly placed shot from the greatest footballer of all time, the manner in which he was so easily able to beat three-time MLS keeper of the year Andre Blake had soccer fans wondering just how bad this league actually is.

Is Messi that good or is MLS that bad?

As a result of their beatdown of the Philadelphia Union in the semifinals, Messi and Inter Miami will take on Nashville in the Leagues Cup Final on Saturday, August 19.

Inter Miami then has a U.S. Open Cup semi-final match against FC Cincinnati on August 23 before the 36-year-old Argentine legend makes his official MLS league play debut on August 26 against the New York Red Bulls.

While Messi joining Major League Soccer has obviously been a coup for the league given the manner in which its profile has been instantaneously elevated, some concern over the extent to which Messi makes the competition seem amateurish could be brewing.

Some fans, however, are taking the opposite stance and are suggesting that Messi has always been this dominant regardless of where he’s played.

Actually, Messi has always been this good

Widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time, Messi joined Inter Miami on a two-and-a-half-year contract with an option for a third in 2026. Prior to making his way to MLS, Messi spent the previous two seasons in France with Paris Saint-Germain and won the World Cup with Argentina last fall.

His halcyon days, of course, came with legendary Spanish club Barcelona, as Messi scored 474 in 520 appearances for the club and won 10 La Ligas, four Champions Leagues, and a record seven Ballon d’Ors (the final of which, however, came while he was playing with PSG).