Lionel Messi has worked wonders for MLS Season Pass in his brief time with Inter Miami. The Argentine’s popularity drove subscriptions when he arrived ahead of the inaugural Leagues Cup. However, Messi’s career is nearing its end despite his success and ability. As Messi is turning 37, his contract with Inter Miami expires at the end of the 2025 campaign. Forward-thinking Major League Soccer is already scoping out how it can keep the momentum going when the Argentine inevitably leaves.

Neymar presents an interesting opportunity for MLS Season Pass. On his day with Barcelona and PSG, the Brazilian was inarguably one of the best players in the world. His stint in France did not go as planned, though. Injuries and rows with fans eventually led to his exit from the Parc des Princes. He made the big-money move to Saudi Arabia at the age of 31, well before most thought his career in Europe would fizzle out.

Regardless, his popularity among fans and his ability on the field make him a prospect to join Major League Soccer. Neymar’s contract with Al-Hilal ends after the 2024/25 campaign, not long before Messi’s deal with Inter Miami. Therefore, barring a contract extension with the Saudi club or a move elsewhere, Major League Soccer may be able to acquire Neymar without paying a transfer fee. That is what it did with Lionel Messi, who switched after his PSG contract expired in 2023.

The question remains as to how viable Neymar would be to drive supporters to MLS Season Pass in 2026. The only person who can compare to the popularity of Lionel Messi is Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only is the Portuguese sensation older than Messi. He has been adamant in his criticism of MLS. That leaves Neymar as the most suitable successor.

What Neymar would bring to MLS Season Pass

Neymar is a major draw no matter where he plays. The Brazilian made his debut with the Brazilian national team in the United States. While playing for Barcelona, he also played friendlies in the United States to large crowds. Major League Soccer has seen massive crowds at games involving Inter Miami. For example, season tickets to Chase Stadium sold out well before the season. This is despite Inter Miami significantly raising the price of those tickets with Messi in the fold.

Inter Miami could capitalize on Neymar’s fame. Likewise, Neymar may be lured by the opportunity to play with Messi once more.

Last week, Neymar was asked about Messi. His answer was revealing.

“Yes, Messi is happy [in Miami],” Neymar said. “I hope that we can get back to playing together again.”

Our Pick:

Includes: Every regular season game, MLS Cup Playoffs, Leagues Cup, & More

Sign Up

Yet, Major League Soccer and Apple care more about the national audience expanding than local clubs benefitting. With the global streaming deal for Major League Soccer, Lionel Messi gave people from around the world a reason to watch. Neymar would too, but not to the magnitude of Lionel Messi. Even if Neymar is more willing to work with Apple and MLS’s media entities, Messi has the aura that fans want to see. It helps that Messi joined Inter Miami just months after winning the World Cup with Argentina.

That is the bar bringing in Messi sets, though. Now that Apple and MLS have seen the potential for the league with a superstar, the drive to bring in more star players continues to grow. If Neymar is the next option, he will have massive shoes to fill as Messi’s replacement when it comes to bringing in subscribers.

Guide to Major League Soccer

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of MLS Season Pass!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
Season Pass FAQ: We answer your questions about MLS Season Pass
Sign up: Learn how to subscribe to MLS Season Pass
Commentators: Check out who's calling the action for the MLS season
Android users Tips for fans Android users on how to watch MLS Season Pass