Argentina football captain Lionel Messi, who is currently plying his trade in the European club circuit with French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), is in talks with David Beckham-owned Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami, according to a report published by The Athletic.

The 35-year-old forward’s contract with the Parisian giants ends after this season, and the club wants Messi to extend his deal with them. However, if Messi decides to leave European football and spend the twilight years of his career in North America, it will not only be a huge boost for the Miami-based outfit, but also help popularise MLS and attract increased viewership.

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A report published by Marca in November 2021 states that Ligue 1’s viewership increased by 75% after the diminutive genius joined PSG in the summer transfer window that year. 

The global appeal of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the two best footballers of the 21st century, has made them among the most marketable athletes in the world.

According to SportsPro’s list of the most marketable athletes of 2022, Ronaldo ranks first, ahead of names like Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton and LeBron James, while Messi ranks 5th.

The MLS has been attracting quite a few big names over the years. In recent years, Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been the most famous footballer to sign for an MLS side- Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham was also a part of the LA Galaxy squad from 2007 to 2012.

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Messi is currently in fine form at PSG, where he is regularly connecting with Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe to give the club regular wins. He has played 17 matches for PSG this season, scoring 12 goals and providing 13 assists, bringing his total goal contribution to 25. 

The left-footed genius is also gearing up to showcase his magic one last time at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Argentina begin their campaign on November 22 in a match against Saudi Arabia.