Lionel Messi ‘won’t find it easy’ in MLS – Wayne Rooney

D.C. United manager Wayne Rooney said Lionel Messi “won’t find it easy” in Major League Soccer as he joins Inter Miami.

In an interview with The Times of London, Manchester United legend Rooney said many players arrive in MLS and struggle to adapt and that Messi may be no different.

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“Everything is set for him,” Rooney said. “He’s got all his mates over! [Sergio] Busquets and Jordi Alba have signed for Inter Miami and maybe [Andres] Iniesta will join them. Luis Suarez too. Messi has a coach [Inter Miami manager Tata Martino] he likes and trusts. It’s huge, especially with what’s going on in Saudi, for the MLS to attract Messi.

“He won’t find it easy here. It sounds mad, but players who come in find it’s a tough league. The travelling, the different conditions in different cities, and there’s a lot of energy and intensity on the pitch.”

Upon leaving United after 14 years, Rooney played 52 matches for D.C. United during a two-year spell from 2018 to 2020, scoring 25 goals, before returning as manager last July.

Messi will be unveiled at an event at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, later on Sunday.

The Argentina forward joins Miami after leaving French champions Paris Saint-Germain following two seasons at the club. He has signed a contract through the end of the 2025 MLS season.

The club have said Messi will first be available for selection in a July 21 Leagues Cup match against Mexican side Cruz Azul.

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