MLS commissioner describes 2023 as “the year of Messi”

MIAMI.- The 2023 season of the MLS was without a doubt the year of Lionel Messi.

The world champion and eight-time winner of the Golden Ball arrived at Inter Miami over the summer and changed the landscape of the league. The sale of pink jerseys with the number 10 skyrocketed, subscriptions for league games in AppleTV increased and ticket prices for their games reached unprecedented levels.

I think history will see 2023 as the year of Messibut from my perspective, it was perhaps the most spectacular year in our history, for several reasons, and Lionel Messi took it to a level that was probably difficult to imagine,” said commissioner Don Garber during an interview about the state of the league.

The 36-year-old Argentine had 11 goals and eight assists in 14 games in all competitions with the InterMiami. He helped the team lift a trophy in the first edition of the League’s Cup, in conjunction with the Mexican league.

Throughout the league, Attendance increased by 5% and Inter Miami recorded an increase of more than 35%. Miami has already sold out its tickets for 2024 and it is rumored that another star, the Uruguayan Luis Suarezis on the way.

Garber noted that there were other reasons in this watershed year for the MLShighlighting the league’s momentum after the Qatar World Cup last December, the success of the San Luis expansion, the new agreement for broadcast rights with AppleTV and the postseason format.

To that we must add Saturday’s final between the LAFC and the Columbus Crew.

He reaffirmed the idea of ​​the MLS:

“And on top of everything, Messi comes to Miami and does more on so many levels on and off the field, and he really fulfilled this concept that the MLS “It can be a league for the best players in the world,” Garber said.

Garber did not fall for the question about Suárez, but he did express his frustration with recent reports that Messi referred to the MLS as a small league, saying that part of the confusion is due to translation.

“He understands that MLS It is a different league and at a different level than La Liga. “You can’t discuss that,” declared the commissioner. “That empowers us to continue doing the work we need to do to remain one of the top leagues globally.”