Exclusive – Former Argentina international and current San Jose earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda has hailed the possibility of Lionel Messi joining a club in MLS and said this will allow the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to come to the fore. feeling “normal” off the pitch again.
Messi, who asked to leave Barcelona this summer and is out of contract next year, recently revealed that he has not made up his mind to stay or leave and will not do so until the end of the season. But living and playing in the United States is something that interests him, he says.
Almeyda made a name for himself with River Plate in the early 1990s and went on to play for Sevilla, Lazio, Parma and Inter, in addition to representing Argentina at two World Cups. He became a coach after his retirement and has been leading San Jose since 2019.
“I always said that I felt like I would like to enjoy the experience of living in the United States, of living in this league and this life,” Messi said in an interview with La Sexta.
Almeyda is completely on board and has suggested that the off-field lifestyle in America would suit Messi better, whose superstar and fame in a smaller environment in Europe will often prevent him from doing certain everyday things with his family and friends. .
“Do you know why I think this is a good idea?” Because the United States is a big country, ”said Almeyda 90 mins. “It has 350 million people, I think. The stars here can walk the streets in peace. Every person who wants a life can enjoy what he loves [and] will live a different life.
“For [Messi], for his children, for his wife, he will be able to walk, cycle, he will be able to go to the supermarket. He won’t be under that fame that makes you a slave, you know? That’s why i think [USA] might be a good place for him.
“I think all the players who want to live a normal life, who don’t want to get ahead in the supermarket because they’re famous, or who don’t want to go to the bank and get ahead. [can play here].
“That way you go back to being a normal human. All players who want to be normal choose this location. “
Almeyda is witnessing the improvement in MLS firsthand and is convinced that the league would be a good choice for Messi from that point of view as well.
“The league is competitive, it’s not easy,” he said. “There are Mexican players that I brought here and they thought it would be easy, but adjusting was difficult. It took a while, more or less a year. It might be underestimated, but the league is growing and players are choosing it for that reason.
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