Messi at Inter Miami: enough to be the best player in the Copa América?

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In July 2023, star Lionel Messi played for Inter Miami. A star of the 2022 World Cup, the Argentine surprised many football fans with his decision. After all, the competitiveness of North American football is not as intense as other leagues that Messi has participated in throughout his career.

La Pulga, as he is known among Argentines, is making his 7th appearance in the Copa América. His debut was in 2006 and, apparently, 2024 could be the year in which he participates in this competition for the last time.

Messi has already said that the Inter Miami could be his last club, which represents that his career may be nearing its end. Even so, the star will be present on the lawns of the United States to try for his 2nd Copa América title.

However, there is much discussion about Messi's ability to achieve the same level of performance he presented in previous competitions.

Game frequency can have an impact

The first aspect that is analyzed by those who follow football games is the fact that Inter Miami participates in a league that does not have as intense a frequency of games as other championships that Messi has participated in throughout his career.

Major League Soccer usually takes place between February and October of a given year. In total, each team plays 34 matches. For reference, in just one season for Barcelona, ​​Messi played 60 games.

This frequency of games is important to keep athletes physically prepared throughout each match. The famous “game rhythm” has a direct impact on players’ performance throughout sequential matches.

Basically, Messi had a decrease in his pace of play throughout his time at Inter Miami. In the case of the Copa América, it is important for the players to be at peak performance to compete in this competition.

Even so, the Argentine star still appears as the favorite for the Copa América top scorer. In addition to having a series of positive impacts off the field, as pointed out in the article Messi and the athlete's history.

Can age have an impact?

During the Copa América, Messi will turn 37 years old. For some players, this age represents the end of their career. For others, it is not an obstacle to continuing to play, as is the case with Cristiano Ronaldo.

At 39 years old, Ronaldo continues to stand out at Al Nassr. In 2023/2024, for example, the Portuguese star managed to reach the mark of 50 goals scored in 51 matches played for the Arab team.

The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is 39 years old and still achieving good results in the Arab league proves that age does not have as much impact as one might think. If the player plays at high performance, the tendency is that he will be able to maintain his performance throughout the games.

In the case of Messi, on the other hand, the Argentine star did not come close to the performance of his professional teammate. Lionel seems to be slowing down, while Ronaldo continues to perform at a high level.

Analyzing just the Copa América, players like Vini Jr, Rodrygo and Endrick have much more capacity to play at high performance than Messi. This considering the pace of play of these athletes and the demands of the leagues in which they participate.

Is Copa América in the United States an advantage for players who live in the USA?

The United States is well known for its culture and the presence of real shows at sporting events. In football, the popularity of Major League Soccer is not as high as the NBA (basketball league) and even the NFL (American football league).

For players who already play in North American football, knowing the culture and already knowing what to expect is an advantage. Because they may already know some pitches, be familiar with the fans' behavior, among other aspects.

For those who don't play in the United States, the North American football culture can be a shock. Therefore, in this aspect, those who already play in MLS can come out ahead of their four-line teammates.

The truth is that Messi's presence in any competition is always an attraction. Regardless of whether he plays at a high level or not, Lionel will certainly be closely watched due to his reputation and impressive track record in world football.


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