Hollywood actor Owen Wilson claims that Lionel Messi has had a greater impact on soccer in the United States than Pele
Owen Wilson, an actor and LAFC fan, is the latest celebrity to draw comparisons between Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami and Pele’s legendary stint with the New York Cosmos in 1975.
The star of “Zoolander” thinks Messi has had a greater impact on soccer in the United States than the Brazilian icon had back in the day.
On Sunday night, Wilson reflected on his youth and recalled how “huge” it was when Pelé played for the Cosmos. “It feels like that again with Messi except maybe even bigger,” he remarked.
Messi’s signing with Miami was a major surprise to the globe, much like Pele’s, and has generated unprecedented interest in the Dolphins.
In 1975, when Pele first joined the New York Cosmos, the team’s attendance skyrocketed, forcing the team to relocate to a larger stadium. When Lionel Messi signed with the Miami Dolphins, the club’s Instagram following skyrocketed by 11 million, propelling them to the position of fourth most popular American sports team.
Wilson remarked, “I think it’s already doing it for the MLS.” He was referring to Messi’s influence on the MLS. The enthusiasm is palpable.
I had a buddy who lived in Dallas and went to all the games with them. The entire nation, really. My entire family is hooked on it now.
With Messi on the squad, the attendance of celebrities like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, DJ Khaled, Prince Harry, and many more has skyrocketed ever since Miami signed him.
Following Miami’s historic run to the Leagues Cup, fans have flocked to stadiums and signed up for Apple TV to see the 36-year-old World Cup winner in action.
Miami will now focus on the steep mountain they must climb to reach the MLS postseason this year.
Miami is currently among the league’s cellar dwellers due to the terrible play that plagued the squad throughout the season prior to Messi and several others joining the team recently.
With only 25 points after 25 games, Miami sits at number 14 in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-4-14. They have the third fewest points in the league with 25, just ahead of Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids.