Lionel Messi is poised to induce an MLS rule change following his transfer to Inter Miami

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Lionel Messi’s MLS debut is still pending, yet the Argentine superstar’s presence could lead to a significant rule modification in Major League Soccer (MLS) moving forward.

Since joining Inter Miami on a two-and-a-half year contract under David Beckham, Messi has impressively scored 10 goals across eight matches.

He played a pivotal role in securing the Herons’ inaugural trophy as they triumphed over Nashville on penalties to clinch the League Cup.

Additionally, the seven-time Ballon d’Or recipient propelled Inter Miami to another final recently, this time in the US Open, as they emerged victorious in a thrilling 3-3 draw against FC Cincinnati through a shootout triumph.

Messi will make his MLS bow against New York Red Bulls this weekend and there’s talk of his arrival bringing about a major shift in regulations across the board.

Upon his arrival,The Athleticspoke to multiple executives within MLS clubs, who believe in order to maximise Messi’s impact in a greater way than when David Beckham moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, teams must have “more flexibility” when it comes to spending money on players and wages.

Currently, rules stipulate that each of the 29 teams must only have three designed players who are allowed to be above the league’s salary cap.

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At Inter Miami, Lionel Messi holds a Designated Player (DP) status, sharing this distinction with Sergio Busquets and Leonardo Campana. Notably, Messi’s contract includes provisions for a percentage of the proceeds from Adidas shirt sales and Apple TV MLS Season Pass subscriptions.

Jordi Alba, with an annual salary of $1.65 million, has been acquired through the use of TAM (targeted allocation money). This mechanism permits the signing of players whose salaries surpass the league’s maximum limit, with each team having access to $2.8 million.

Conversations regarding potential alterations to the roster regulations were conducted during the MLS board of governors meeting in Washington, D.C. in June. League executive Todd Durbin curated a presentation on this matter.

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Some chiefs believe the adjustments must be made to capitalise on the capture of Messi, arguably the greatest player of all time.

Many are advocating for a more level playing field but one that enables more high-quality signings across the board.

A recent tweak is the U-22 initiative, which has led to a number of exceptional foreign talents plying their trade in the MLS as a result.

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