The difference between Lionel Messi and David Beckham amid MLS impact comparisons

Beckham made headlines around the world in 2007 when he became one of the first big names to join the MLS, joining on a free transfer from Real Madrid. The former Manchester United man made 124 appearances for the LA Galaxy across six years.

In 2009 and 2010 Beckham enjoyed two loan spells back in Europe with AC Milan before eventually leaving Los Angeles in 2013 to join PSG. The 48-year-old United hero returned to America at the end of his playing career and formed Inter Miami.

The fledgling franchise this year signed Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to help change their fortunes. Since their arrival, the Herons have won their first trophy with Messi to the fore and all eyes have been on their new Argentine forward.

Remarkably, Messi has scored 11 goals in as many games and his arrival has led to a whole generation of new fans tuning in to the MLS. According to the league&aposs vice-president Rodriguez, speaking at the Ole Sports Summit, Messi is already having a greater impact on football in the US than Beckham.

“Messi is different from Beckham: He was a celebrity, and they knew him outside the sports pages while Leo won everything in sports, with class and humility,” Rodriguez explained when asked for the difference between the two stars. “He is a father with three children, who dedicates goals to them. Seeing the giants of American sports want to see him shows the respect he carries around the world.

“The numbers are incredible. And the impact will not be measured for another 10, 15 or 20 years. It is a pride he has chosen Inter Miami and the MLS to follow his career.”

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