David Beckham is of the opinion that Lionel Messi will need some time to adjust to the quality of play in Major League Soccer (MLS), despite the fact that MLS is considered to be on a “different level” than European soccer.
After signing a contract with the club on Tuesday, former Manchester United and Real Madrid footballer David Beckham, who is now a co-owner of Inter Miami, was on hand to see Lionel Messi participate in his first training session with the team. Messi’s new deal is for two and a half years.
After joining on Saturday, Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets, a former teammate of Messi’s from Barcelona, also trained at the club’s facilities. Former Barcelona and Argentina coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino led the session for Busquets.
The Englishman said that “Leo is still going to need,” regardless of how talented he is or what his size may be, “he and Sergio are going to need time to adapt no matter what.”
“They might surprise us, and we might start winning every single game, but we have to be patient,” he remarked. “But we have to be patient.”
Beckham has indicated that the Argentine may not necessarily start Friday’s League Cup match against Cruz Azul of Mexico, which means that the supporters of Miami may need to demonstrate patience throughout the match.
“Leo will play some part of the game but that will be down to the coach (and) it’ll be down to Leo to decide if he’s ready because we know that he’s been away for a few weeks with his family but he looks sharp, he looks great but he’s going to need time to adapt as well,” added Beckham. “But he looks sharp, he looks great but he’s going to need time to adapt as well.”
When David Beckham joined for the Galaxy in 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) had only 13 teams as opposed to the 29 clubs it has now, and the level of play was substantially lower. Beckham was the most famous player to transfer to MLS at the time.
However, Beckham remarked that there was one aspect that had not undergone any changes.
When I first arrived, everyone had the same idea: Los Angeles was going to win everything. This is one of the things that will be comparable. He predicted that Los Angeles would go undefeated, perhaps 7-0 or 8-0, and that no other team would be able to achieve such a feat.
However, despite Beckham’s arrival, the Galaxy were unable to even qualify for the playoffs in either of his first two seasons with the team.
After finishing second to last in the Western Conference in 2007 and 2008, Los Angeles advanced to the finals of the MLS Cup in 2009 but was eliminated before going on to win the title in 2011 and 2012.
“Those first two years for me were a challenge, getting used to everything, bringing the club and the league to be a little bit more professional, but things changed very quickly,” he added. “It was a challenge getting used to everything, bringing the club and the league to be a little bit more professional.”
“I started enjoying the soccer a lot more, not just because we were winning (but) because I could see the change that was being made — the academy stuff coming into each of the clubs… we’re now at a stage where things are definitely different to how they were in 2007,” he added. “I started enjoying the soccer not just because we were winning (but) because I could see the change that was being made — the academy stuff coming into each of the clubs.”
Although the level of play in the MLS is still a long way below that of the best leagues in Europe, where Lionel Messi has spent his entire club career, other international stars who came to the MLS late in their careers have found it challenging to be successful there.
Challenges that players have had to confront include frequent travel across time zones, playing on artificial surfaces at certain stadiums, and having teammates who may not be on the same wavelength as them or have the necessary level of technical skill.
Beckham is very certain that Messi will achieve his goals, but he acknowledges that his influence on the pitch may not be as immediate as some people may be expecting it to be.
“It’s a different style of football, and it’s slightly different level compared to what obviously some of the players that are coming in are used to,” he said. “Obviously, some of the players that are coming in are used to.”
“But at the end of the day, this level of football in this country now is a good level, it’s a great level, so there are going to be moments where we need to be patient,” he added. “This level of football in this country now is a great level.”