When Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, announced his move to Inter Miami, it was a headline-making event worldwide. The move presented a unique opportunity for soccer enthusiasts to witness how a legendary player could transform the sport in North America.
To document this transition, Apple TV+ has begun streaming a six-part docuseries titled Messi Meets America.
According to a press release by Apple TV+, the docuseries “takes viewers behind the scenes as the greatest player to ever step on the pitch leads his new team to a Leagues Cup title and beyond.”
However, critics argue that the docuseries falls short of providing any intriguing behind-the-scenes footage or personal insights into Messi as an individual. Instead, it appears to be more of a promotional campaign for Messi and Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.
A documentary or an advertisement?
The Telegraph criticizes the series as a lengthy advertisement for Major League Soccer. In fact, the series is described as a compilation of slow-motion footage of the World Cup winner showcasing his skills on the field.
Here's what other critics had to say about the series:
- ESPN - “It often feels like a promotional campaign”
- Rolling Stone - “Messi Meets America seems, more than anything, like a marketing stunt”
- Decider - “Messi Meets America is basically a slick advertisement for Major League Soccer on Apple TV+”
A joyful introduction to US soccer
Despite the criticism, CNN views the series as an attempt to turn Messi's introduction to US soccer into a celebratory event. The series offers glimpses of local life and features interviews with other members of the MLS club.
Critics argue that David Beckham, owner of Inter Miami, has long understood the profitability of fame. Beckham recognizes the appeal of Messi, arguably the most famous athlete on the planet, and this will only enhance the popularity of the club.
While Messi Meets America promises an in-depth look at Messi's transition to MLS, it has been criticized as a promotional campaign for the league. Despite this, the series offers a unique perspective on Messi's impact on American soccer and the marketing strategies employed by MLS clubs.
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