Landon Donovan sees both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the MLS before they hang up their boots.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have dominated world football over the past 15 years. (Image: infoguidenigeria.com)
The growth of the product saw the likes of Gareth Bale, Giorgio Chiellini, Xherdan Shaqiri, Federico Bernardeschi, and Lorenzo Insigne join Major League Soccer over the past months. Donovan believes Messi and Ronaldo could opt to follow in the footsteps of other exponential players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, or Frank Lampard, who all played in the US before retirement.
“Beckham led the way, now our league is growing very fast and everyone wants to come here. I think one day Messi and Cristiano will play here,” Donovan said, as quoted by Calciomercato.
“Beckham didn’t join at 38, he sent a message that MLS is growing very fast and continues today with Carlos Vela, Chicharito, and Gareth Bale. I believe that one day Messi and Cristiano can come,” Donovan added.
Former Everton striker Landon Donovan has predicted that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will play in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the near future. https://t.co/USES6Sj6kU
— Sportskeeda Football (@skworldfootball) July 23, 2022
Do the bookies see a chance coming?
In fact, no, not really. At least not this year.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo being in a complicated relationship with Manchester United at the moment, none of the clubs he’s been linked to is from the MLS. The bookmakers aren’t even accepting bets on Cristiano’s departure for the States this summer. In the past, Ronaldo said he’d like to try living in the US and playing in the MLS, but sources close to him still see him staying in Europe for the time being.
Messi’s situation is not much different. The seven-time ‘Ballon d’Or’ winner owns a luxury apartment in Miami and was allegedly involved in talks to join Beckham’s Inter as a player and part-owner. Rumors have been rubbished by Leo’s entourage, but Messi openly revealed he’d want to try MLS football before retirement. In 2021, a bet on ‘any MLS side‘ signing Messi as a free agent after his departure from Barcelona stood at +1600. If a return to Barcelona will prove impossible in 2023, Leo might consider the MLS as the perfect continuation to a fantastic career.