Fans have spotted a worrying detail from Lionel Messi’s appearance for Inter Miami against FC Dallas.
Messi is in pre-season ahead of the new campaign in America, having played in their last two friendly games.
He played against El Salvador last weekend before turning out for Inter Miami against FC Dallas last night.
Jesus Ferreira scored the only goal of the game as FC Dallas ran out 1-0 winners at the Cotton Bowl.
The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner nearly produced a moment of magic – something he has never done before in his illustrious career.
Fans also spotted the crowd for Messi’s outing in Texas.
The stadium looked half empty, which could worry MLS chiefs ahead of the new season.
Messi mania took over America when the World Cup winner made his debut, attracting massive crowds while celebrities flocked to grounds across the country to watch him in action.
Is his appeal in America waning? Some fans on social media think so.
— fan (@NoodleHairCR7) January 23, 2024
A second tweeted: “Messi is so washed.”
A third joked: “And they say MLS is better.”
Another defended Messi: “It’s friendly don’t take it like it is a league match pls.”
Messi scored 11 goals in 14 matches last season as he helped David Beckham’s team to silverware, winning the Leagues Cup.
Despite his performances, Christian Fuchs, who is assistant manager at Charlotte FC, believes the Argentine is in the States for ‘business rather than pleasure’.
He said: “Messi is still a phenomenon. He has come to the States for business rather than pleasure – and anyone who doubts that should look at how he scored 11 goals in just 14 games. He really wants to win.
“Inter Miami also had Busquets. Now David Beckham has signed Luis Suarez.
“This has brought a lot of focus to the MLS, but I think the league is now coming to a stage where it has to ease things like salary caps and restrictions on which players clubs can sign.”