MLS News: From Beckham to Zlatan, from Henry to Pirlo: the biggest names to play in MLS

    Rumor has it that Lionel Messi will be the latest superstar to move to MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentine striker will move to Inter Miami.

    Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of the season and has been constantly linked with a return to Barcelona since he left the Blaugrana in 2021.

    But Inter Miami are said to be “confident” the 35-year-old will sign after the World Cup concludes in Qatar, where he scored in both of Argentina’s group stage matches, though he won’t move until after PSG’s match. season.

    If the move comes to fruition, Messi will join a host of big names to handle his trade in the United States. Here are some of the more prominent examples.

    David Beckham

    The former England captain shocked the world when he switched from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy in 2007, though his crushing move certainly made MLS famous.

    Beckham made 118 appearances in his five years with the Galaxy, scoring 20 goals and helping the franchise to another MLS Cup victory in the past two seasons.

    Thierry Henry

    Arsenal and France’s top scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Fan Shield and four All-Star appearances.

    Henry also coached the Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, leading them to the playoffs during his only full season.

    David Villa

    Spain’s all-time leading scorer became the first player to sign with New York City when he signed from Atlético Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

    Four-time All-Star Villa scored 80 goals in 126 appearances before moving to Japanese club Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.


    The former Ballon d’Or winner became Orlando City’s first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

    Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while being an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

    Andrea Pirlo

    A multiple Scudetto winner with AC Milan and Juventus, Pirlo failed to truly make his mark in MLS during his tenure with New York City.

    However, the former Italy midfielder helped the franchise reach the play-offs in 2016 and 2017, making 62 appearances and scoring once.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after moving from Manchester United to LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 victory over LA rivals, including a 45-yard screamer.

    It set the tone for a prolific two-year period for the former Swedish international, who scored 53 goals in 58 matches before returning to Italy for a second term at AC Milan.

    Wayne Rooney

    England’s all-time leading scorer helped DC United reach the play-offs in his first season since moving from Everton in 2018, and he will always be remembered for his last tackle and cross-field pass to Luciano Acosta, which cemented a dramatic trio . -2 victory over Orlando City.

    Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United before returning to the franchise as head coach after a spell at Derby County in July.

    Gonzalo Higuain

    Championship winner with Real Madrid and Juventus Higuain changed Italy to the States in September 2020.

    Despite not scoring a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentine striker scored 29 goals in 70 games before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

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