Lionel Messi’s Popularity in LA Lionel Messi’s overwhelming popularity shone brightly this weekend, showing that not even Hollywood’s stars could overshadow him.
Entertainment in Los Angeles In Los Angeles, a city rich in entertainment, a special event took place at the Crypto.com Arena. Here, NBA giants like the LA Lakers and LeBron James entertain fans who often come late. Yet, the BMO Stadium buzzed with excitement even before the Inter Miami and LAFC players began their warm-ups. Fans waiting outside for the team’s bus could have filled the stadium earlier. LAFC matches always draw crowds, with the stadium’s 22,000 seats regularly occupied. However, on this day, Messi’s passionate fans took over, spreading the vibrant DRV PNK spirit wherever Miami went.
Messi’s Move to Inter Miami CF Lionel Messi’s shift to Inter Miami CF marks a significant milestone in soccer. After two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, the famous Argentine forward joined Inter Miami right before the 2025 MLS season. Officials announced this significant signing at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After three years of discussions, Messi is set to earn between £50 million and $60 million annually.
Reactions to Messi’s Move Jorge Mas, Inter Miami’s managing owner, expressed his excitement about Messi’s acquisition, highlighting the club’s commitment to building a strong soccer foundation. Messi also shared his enthusiasm, focusing on his dedication to the team’s objectives. Fans eagerly anticipated his first match after hearing the news of his move. Messi’s decision to join the MLS came from various factors, including the chance to work with former teammates and to immerse himself in the growing U.S. soccer culture. David Beckham, Inter Miami’s co-owner, saw Messi’s addition as a dream come true. He highlighted Messi’s unmatched skills and expressed optimism about Inter Miami’s future with Messi.
Impact on U.S. Soccer Messi’s move has a significant impact on MLS and U.S. soccer. His participation will likely boost the league’s reputation, drawing local and international attention. Fans worldwide will eagerly watch Messi’s performances.
Match Day Atmosphere Outside the stadium, vendors sold fake Miami jerseys featuring Messi’s iconic No. 10. The jersey demand was high, but ticket demand was higher. Ticket prices skyrocketed, with the lowest-priced ones selling for about $800 and the highest for over $17,000, breaking an MLS regular-season game record.
Security and Celebrity Attendance Due to the increased interest, security tightened. A helicopter flew over the stadium, and many police officers patrolled inside and outside. Yassine Chueko, Messi’s famous bodyguard, stepped in when a fan tried to approach Messi.
The match attracted not only Messi fans but also A-list celebrities. LAFC part-owners Magic Johnson and Will Ferrell, LeBron James, Selena Gomez, Owen Wilson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and British royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended. The event was so popular that many celebrities couldn’t get a ticket, with a record 22,921 attendees.
Match Highlights However, not all cheered for Messi. LAFC’s supporter group, the 3252, booed Messi during his warm-up and at the game’s start. LAFC had scoring chances, but Miami’s goalkeeper, Drake Callender, made key saves. Miami’s Facundo Farias scored, disappointing LAFC’s goalkeeper, John McCarthy.
In the second half, Messi’s fans saw their hero in action. A play between Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets resulted in a goal. LAFC’s head coach, Steve Cherundolo, expected such brilliance from the world’s top player. The match concluded with another Messi assist, leading to Miami’s third goal. LAFC scored a consolation goal, but Messi and Miami stole the show.
Looking Ahead Messi now prepares for Argentina’s 2026 World Cup qualifying matches. Miami also prepares for their next match against Sporting Kansas City. With Messi’s impact, a playoff spot seems achievable.