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Lionel Messi is already set to prompt MLS rule change after move to Inter Miami

Lionel Messi is already set to prompt MLS rule change after move to Inter Miami

Lionel Messi's presence at Inter Miami could well bring a huge change to the MLS rules going forward.

Lionel Messi hasn't even made his MLS debut but the Argentine superstar could prompt a major MLS rule change going forward.

Messi has scored 10 goals in eight games since signing a two-and-a-half year contract with David Beckham's Inter Miami and led the Herons to their first ever trophy after they beat Nashville on penalties to lift the League Cup.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner also helped Inter reach a second final in midweek after another shoot-out victory - this time in a US Open semi-final triumph over FC Cincinnati following a pulsating 3-3 draw.

Messi will make his MLS bow against New York Red Bulls this weekend and there's talk of his arrival bringing about a major shift in regulations across the board.

Upon his arrival, The Athletic spoke to multiple executives within MLS clubs, who believe in order to maximise Messi's impact in a greater way than when David Beckham moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, teams must have "more flexibility" when it comes to spending money on players and wages.

Currently, rules stipulate that each of the 29 teams must only have three designed players who are allowed to be above the league's salary cap.

Lionel Messi in action for Inter Miami. Image: Getty
Lionel Messi in action for Inter Miami. Image: Getty

At Inter, Messi, whose contract sees him receive a cut of Adidas shirt sales and Apple TV MLS Season Pass sign-ups, is a DP alongside Sergio Busquets and Leonardo Campana.

Jordi Alba, who is earning $1.65 million annually - has been signed through TAM (targeted allocation money) - which allows the signing of players who are making more than the league maximum salary as $2.8 million is available to each team.

Discussions over potential changes to the roster rules took place at the MLS board of governors meeting in Washington, D.C in June and league executive Todd Durbin put together a presentation.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Some chiefs believe the adjustments must be made to capitalise on the capture of Messi, arguably the greatest player of all time.

Many are advocating for a more level playing field but one that enables more high-quality signings across the board.

A recent tweak is the U-22 initiative, which has led to a number of exceptional foreign talents plying their trade in the MLS as a result.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, MLS, Inter Miami