Lionel Messi has reportedly reached a ‘private agreement’ to partly circumvent a stringent MLS rule during his time at Inter Miami.
The 36-year-old has already made a significant impact since his arrival in the United States, helping Inter Miami secure victory in the Leagues Cup last month.
Additionally, he scored in his MLS debut against the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.
Remarkably, the 0-0 draw against Nashville on Wednesday, Messi’s first league match at his new home stadium, marked the first time he did not score or provide an assist in his initial 11 matches.
Although Inter Miami fans might have been disappointed not to see their star player on the scoresheet on Saturday, Messi has brought considerable success to the club thus far.
However, Lionel Messi has been granted a degree of leeway when it comes to certain MLS regulations.
One such rule pertains to players being obligated to participate in post-match interviews with the league’s media team or broadcast partner Apple TV.
Another rule stipulates that players must be accessible for 15 minutes before and after training sessions to facilitate content creation and interviews.
Messi’s agreement appears to allow for some flexibility in adhering to these requirements.
TheDaily Mailreported that Messi broke that rule after the draw against Nashville by not speaking to reporters after the match, despite a request being put in for the Argentinian to do so.
But in a statement toThe Athletic, an MLS spokesperson confirmed that there has been a ‘misunderstanding’ over Messi’s media access, and that he has not violated any league rules in that regard.
It is claimed that Messi and his representation have their own arrangement with the league and Inter Miami, though the full details of this arrangement remain unclear, with a source claiming that the arrangement is a ‘work in progress’.
The forward did, however, conduct an interview with Apple TV, via a translator, after his debut against Cruz Azul last month, indicating that he may well take up media duties in future when it is deemed suitable to do so.