It hasn’t taken long for Lionel Messi to immerse himself in the United States. It also hadn’t taken long for the Argentinian national to comment about the state of the National Team.
Prior to Inter Miami CF’s Leagues Cup final matchup against Nashville SC on Saturday, Messi was asked by a reporter regarding his evaluation of the level of competition in the U.S. It didn’t take long for him to cite the growth of the U.S. Men’s National Team in his response.
EL FÚTBOL EN ESTADOS UNIDOS Y LA COMPARACIÓN CON MÉXICO, según Leo Messi…
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) August 17, 2023
Here is Messi’s response, as roughly translated to English by the account—USMNT Only:
“U.S. Soccer has really grown a lot in just the last year and the results recently clinched by the U.S. team really prove that they’ve become a major force in the World Cup, super competitive, matching their opponents blow for blow in every game.”
Lionel Messi on the USMNT 🇺🇸
“U.S. Soccer has really grown a lot in just the last year and the results recently clinched by the U.S. team really prove that, they've become a major force in the World Cup, super competitive, matching their opponents blow for blow in every game." pic.twitter.com/0I5WxZls21
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) August 17, 2023
A lot of those who reacted to Messi’s comments showered praise on the legendary forward for highlighting the growth of the United States on the world stage.
Berhalter haters in shambles.
Seriously, the USMNT got a lot of praise from the media of neutral countries in the 2022 World Cup for their style of play. https://t.co/CvVcpdzL9w
— TK Shackleford (@tkhighcountry) August 17, 2023
That’s a diplomatic answer. The important thing is that the game and National teams programs continue to grow. Hopefully he helps. https://t.co/TUQHofaiA2
— Brian Smith (@AgentSmith34) August 18, 2023
He recognizes it. Thats why he is the goat https://t.co/HxZN8ZdoTs
— wlrwilly🍟 (@wlrwilly) August 17, 2023
— RIEN_ (@Earn38733456) August 18, 2023
Some argued that Messi doesn’t pay attention to the U.S. Men’s National Team.
How much he get paid to say this https://t.co/xaW6NEG51n
— Dutty Boukman (@jetlife_ab) August 18, 2023
Chat AI generated compliments. https://t.co/qaaYSpU9Vy
— Caught Offside (@COsoccerpod) August 18, 2023
— Dhan (@Dhaneye) August 18, 2023
This brother does NOT pay attention to the USMNT💀 https://t.co/hPtEJJHfWb
— Comrade CFC (@ShadyCobainNV) August 17, 2023
Others used it as an opportunity to criticize Major League Soccer’s development at the youth level.
Unfortunately Messi probably wouldn’t even have made the MLS growing up in the US system 🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/hkpxk5MaTd
— Eder Arreola (@EderArreola7) August 18, 2023