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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Messi Mania

The GOAT ignites fresh football fervor
7th+grader+Arjun+Chandru+and+6th+grader+Crosby+Clemente+pose+in+their+Argentinian+Messi+jerseys+for+Hoco+Spirit+Day+1.+Messis+global+influence+had+Trinity+Students+decked+out+in+blue+and+white+for+Jersey+Day.+
Olivia Prince
7th grader Arjun Chandru and 6th grader Crosby Clemente pose in their Argentinian Messi jerseys for Hoco Spirit Day 1. Messi’s global influence had Trinity Students decked out in blue and white for Jersey Day.

In the world of sports, very few athletes are crowned the title of the “Greatest of All Time’’
(GOAT). Lionel Messi indisputably stands as one of the few. e legend from Argentina has conquered the international soccer scene, amassing an impressive 43 major club and international-level honors while playing for Barcelona and Paris Saint-German F.C. Messi has broken numerous records and has received the most Ballon d’Or awards in history, an award that annually recognizes the world’s best player of that year. However, it was during the 2022 World Cup
that Messi solidified his status as the GOAT by leadingArgentina to victory, marking the country’s first World Cup win since the legendary Diego Maradona in 1986. Since then, Messi has decided to take his talents to Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, causing a new surge of soccer excitement within the United States.
Initially, Messi’s arrival caused surprise among soccer fans, many who regard the MLS as a step down from the
top international leagues he previously played in. Nonetheless, Messi’s influence has extended far beyond the field;
touching social media, ticket sales and even forging partnerships with global enterprises, like Apple. However, while the “Messi Effect” unquestionably restarts the debate about soccer’s prospects in the United States, it faces the daunting challenge of establishing itself within the nation’s extant sporting culture, where American football and basketball have long reigned supreme. When asked, 12th grade varsity soccer player, Joaquin Carvajal, recognizes Messi’s undeniable influence on American soccer, but questions its ability to take over as one of the nation’s
top sports.
“I don’t think so, just because football and basketball are America’s games,” Carvajal said. “There’s a massive culture like in the school, where we have pep rallies for football games, whereas it’s not the same for soccer.”
Regardless, when Messi first joined the MLS on July 10, 2023, his presence led to the sport’s rapid growth, especially for a soccer city like Miami.This can be clearly seen in the immense increase of social media followers for Inter Miami, with the team gaining around 12 million followers, surpassing all NFL, MLB and NHL teams as the fourth most followed U.S. sports franchise on Instagram. One of the most tangible impacts of Messi’s presence has been the surge in ticket sales for MLS matches. According to Brandon Reddick, premium member experience specialist at Orlando City, stadiums have witnessed an influx of fans eager to watch soccer games where even Messi himself is not playing.
“Where is an increase in the overall visibility of the league and of the club,” Reddick said.
The GOAT ignites fresh football fervor MLS statistics show television viewership for MLS games has seen an impressive 35% rise in overall ratings, capturing the attention of approximately 350,000 viewers per game during Messi’s first season. His effects can also be seen in his partnerships with enterprises like Apple. Since becoming a brand ambassador for Apple TV, the program has experienced an immense surge in subscriptions, with their MLS Season Pass experiencing a 1,690% growth in sign-ups the day Messi first played. While Messi’s impact on soccer in the US
is undeniable, the burning question remains: can soccer become one of the country’s top sports? Messi’s arrival has undoubtedly provided a significant boost, but sustaining this momentum will be the real challenge. Overseas leagues,
particularly the Saudi Arabian league, have been attracting retired players for a while now due to financial incentives.
“We’ve got this Saudi Arabian issue,” Sebastiaan Blickman, Upper School Dean and soccer enthusiast, explained. “…Where all of a sudden we’ve got a ton of really good soccer players at the end of their career going to Saudi Arabia to make a lot of money instead of coming to the U.S….but we have a salary cap. So if you’re a player, what incentive do you have to come and work in and play in the United States?”
However, some soccer fans are still optimistic, believing that Messi is the catalyst for even more international players coming to play in the United States. “I think it’s just starting with Messi and there’s gonna be a lot more players,” said According to 7th grade middle school soccer player, Grant McElveen. As of now, the “Messi Mania’’ in the US is in full swing, but whether it’s just a passing trend or the foundation for a true soccer culture in North America only time will tell.

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About the Contributors
Ana Herrera, Staff writer
Ana Herrera is a junior entering her first year on staff as a member of the Social Media & Broadcasting department. In her free time, she enjoys creative writing, musical theater and making rainbow looms (especially the impressive key chain ones). Contact her at [email protected].
Olivia Prince, Co-Editor of Photography Departmet
My name is Olivia Prince, and I am proud to be this year's co-photo editor. I am entering my senior year at Trinity and my second year on staff. I enjoy cooking, coaching gymnastics and watching soccer. I am always happy to help, so feel free to contact me at: [email protected]

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