Former Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi was named Thursday as one of three finalists for the MLS’ Newcomer of the Year award. However, that nomination isn’t sitting well with some since Messi has only played a handful of league matches.
The 36-year-old only played just six league matches during his debut season with Inter Miami. However, ESPN’s Herculez Gomez had an issue with the MLS media members who put the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner as one of the finalists.
“What are we doing?” Gomez said on “Futbol Americas.“What are we doing? Everything that people hate about Major League Soccer is on display here. We don’t care about this marketing ploy. We don’t care about you trying to use Messi.
“That’s what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to use Messi. Nobody cares that people despise this type of thing. Messi himself should feel a little irked here. The worst thing here isn’t that the club would do it.
“Isn’t that the league would do it is there are people out there, actual press with credentials, who write about the game, who follow the game, who have voted him in as a finalist.”
Messi moved to the South Florida club from PSG after his contract with the French giants expired on June 30. The Argentine helped Inter Miami win Leagues Cup 2023 and reach the U.S. Open Cup final.
Nonetheless, these accomplishments aren’t MLS-related, so they cannot be considered when voting for the finalist. This award isn’t the only one that Messi can secure, as many assume that he’ll be lifting his eighth Ballon d’Or soon.