Argentina celebrates Lionel Messi’s 37th birthday with the captain at the peak of his popularity

Argentina celebrates Lionel Messi’s 37th birthday with the captain at the peak of his popularity
Argentina celebrates Lionel Messi’s 37th birthday with the captain at the peak of his popularity

The Argentine team celebrates this Monday the thirty-seventh birthday of Leo Messi with the captain at the peak of his popularity, becoming a global icon and a social phenomenon in USA.

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That his teammates are the first to congratulate him is not a new situation for Messi, who has celebrated another ten birthdays concentrated with the Albiceleste. On one occasion, he even did it on a playing field; during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, in Leipzig, when he played six minutes after replacing Javier Saviola in the victory over Mexico (2-1).

Photo:EFE

In total, he celebrated his birthday in 4 World Cups (Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018) and seven Copa América (Venezuela 2007, Argentina 2011, Chile 2015, United States 2016, Brazil 2019, Brazil 2021 and United States 2024).

It is also, the second time when he is in New Jersey and on the eve of playing against Chile at Metlife Stadium. The previous one, eight years ago, was an unpleasant memory, because two days later lost the Copa América final and announced that he was leaving the national team.

Impact in the United States

Now it’s different. Undisputed in his country after winning the World Cup, Messi has become a global icon, with a tremendous impact in the United States since its arrival in 2023 to Inter Miami. On the day of its debut, Apple TV added, in just 24 hours, 110,000 new subscribers to the “MLS Season Pass.”

The pink shirt with the 10 on the back, which has been the most sold of the MLS in 2024, according to the league itself, caused a stock out at Adidas after the announcement of his signing, as it had difficulty obtaining so much Pantone 1895C fabric in such a short time.

His face is used to sell beer or to promote the latest Will Smith movie. Associate with the Argentine guarantees diffusion.

“Messi has managed to do what previously seemed impossible: turn the United States into a football country” was the argument presented by Time magazine to name him Athlete of the Year 2023.

A popularity endorsed last February by the survey carried out by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS), experts in social research, which made the Inter player America’s Most Popular Athleteahead of stars like Tom Brady or LeBron James.

In the country that calls football soccer, Messi is already The Goat (The Greatest Of All the Times). Even stickers with a goat and the number 10 and his face have become popular.

Madness in the Copa América

Therefore, Messi’s presence with Argentina in the Copa América has unleashed madness. Among fans of Lionel Scaloni’s team, but also of rival teams.

In Atlanta, where the opening game was played, the crowds were almost sold out. 71,000 entries from the Mrecedes Benz stadium and, among the albiceleste tide that flooded the surroundings of the stadium, it was impossible to find a shirt that did not have the number 10. In fact, the street vendors they have no other put up for sale.

Messi celebrates his 37 years at the top. World Champion, Ballon d’Or and The Best award winner, he is looking for his second Copa América while he ponders how long to prolong his career.

Oscar Gonzalez

EFE

 
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