Of all the Argentine soccer players who have existed until now, only a select group of less than 80 players know what the weight of the World Cup is. There are only 26 of them active, obviously we are talking about the champions of Qatar 2022.
Argentina has players scattered all over the world. It is a real export machine for the raw material of the most popular game on the planet.
Major League Soccer has been around for less than 30 years. Before the third albiceleste star they achieved less than a year ago, the wait for a perfect World Cup was almost 4 decades. In other words, MLS has never witnessed an Argentine monarch.
For all of the above and more, it is truly fascinating and it is worth measuring the value that comes with the possibility of having two new and current world champions with Argentina playing in MLS. Moreover, they are not just any players, we are talking about the best football player of the century and one called to inherit the prestigious 10.
Duel of champions! Thiago Almada and Leo Messi collide in the Leagues Cup
Giving them proper names, we focus on Lionel Messi and Thiago Almada. The considered GOAT arrived in the summer to wear the pink jersey of Inter Miami, while the second is in his second year wearing the ‘Five Stripes’ of Atlanta United.
Saturday afternoon is a special night in the North American league. This is the first time that the two current world champions will face each other in the court of Emelesera. It also has a flavor for Argentine soccer, as two men covered in glory measure themselves pulling the strings of their clubs.
Basically it can be said that on the field we have the past, present (represented by Leo), and future (represented by Thiago), in Argentine football. Obviously the Messi thing is no longer debatable, the Almada thing is a potential thing.
Their careers are in different stages, and analyzing what each one has been up to now, one might think that they have the same direction but opposite.
Messi started professionally in Europe. He consolidated himself and became a Barcelona legend. He later moved to Paris Saint-Germain where he added to his collective and individual record. He signed with Miami in the MLS after winning the World Cup. With the national team he won the youth, but major league titles were delayed until the “twilight” of his path.
Almada started in Argentina with Vélez and migrated directly to MLS with Atlanta United. There are already reports that the player has asked to leave in the next football transfer window of the Old Continent. With the albiceleste, he debuted in a FIFA tournament, winning the World Cup.
To continue the reverse parallel, Lio must one day go to play in his homeland. Thiago migrated to Europe and made his own history. It doesn’t seem possible either.
But now, more than ever in fact, their paths cross in MLS. It may also continue like this with ‘Scaloneta’, at least for the foreseeable future. The 2024 Copa América expects the two to play a new tournament together. The 2026 World Cup seems to depend more on how far Leo wants to go.
And in the near future, on Saturday thanks to Messi and Almada, we will have an unprecedented meeting in MLS. A luxury we don’t know how long it will take to return. A joy that hardly happens in a league outside of the top European leagues.