Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi Emerges as America’s Most Popular Athlete; Tops Poll Ahead of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tiger Woods & Others - Apkcombat

Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi Emerges as America’s Most Popular Athlete; Tops Poll Ahead of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tiger Woods & Others

Lionel Messi has become the crown jewel of the United States. Ever since he signed for Inter Miami, the Argentinian superstar has never fallen short of captivating his audience with his goal-scoring prowess. In fact, La Pulga’s popularity throughout the country has been off the charts, and that even led him to eclipse iconic figures like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods to claim the title of America’s most popular athlete.

Who knew a free soccer transfer would change the entire landscape of American sport? As per the quarterly poll conducted by SSRS, since 1995, names like MJ, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, LBJ, and Tom Brady have managed to top the list. However, Messi has become the first soccer player to ever top rank on this list.

Since June 2023, when Messi announced his union with Inter Miami, the MLS fandom has grown from 35.3% to 37%. But wait, his sheer dominance doesn’t end here, as there is bad news for Cristiano Ronaldo fans.

In the same poll, since 2021, the popularity of Messi in the US has been greater than that of CR7. When the 36-year-old lifted the World Cup in 2022, his popularity rose to 9.7%. Since the beginning of 2023, the graph has continued to grow to 14.7% and took a big jump to 21.3% after he signed for David Beckham‘s soccer franchise. Meanwhile, for Ronaldo, the graph has been low since 2022 and remains steady at just 5%.

Indeed, these are quite remarkable numbers, which will certainly stir a debate in the sporting world. As if this wasn’t enough to prove Messi’s dominance in America, wait till you hear about how Inter Miami is profiting from their star player’s presence.

Lionel Messi leads Inter Miami to the billion-dollar club

According to reports, Inter Miami’s value has skyrocketed from $600 million to an astonishing $1.03 billion. Apart from Newcastle United, several English Premier League powerhouses, such as Everton, West Ham United, and Aston Villa, lag significantly behind Inter Miami in terms of valuation now. With this surge in value, they are the second team in the MLS to enter the billion-dollar club. Who is the first?

Los Angeles FC occupies first place with a $1.15 billion valuation. However, experts predict that Messi’s presence could lead Miami to surpass LAFC in terms of revenue generated in 2024. Miami’s revenue could exceed $200 million in 2024, marking a remarkable 257% increase from the club’s $56 million revenue in 2022. Indeed, these are some outrageous numbers that Miami has achieved thanks to Lionel Messi.

 

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