Many athletes, notably soccer players, are exploring esports as a new competitive arena.

Several professional players, including Iago Aspas, Azpilicueta, Casemiro, and David de Gea, are either sole or joint proprietors of an esports organization. Outside of Spain, Sergio Aguero, formerly of Barcelona and Manchester City, owns the most well-known team, KRU Esports of Argentina.

Currently, his squad competes in VALORANT’s VCT Americas, one of the most important first-person shooters on PC. They disbanded their League of Legends squad in 2023, but there are whispers that they would be interested in rejoining the sport and participating in the Spanish Superliga.

KRU Esports welcomes Lionel Messi as partner with Sergio Aguero

Fans of competitive video gaming were taken aback Tuesday night to learn that Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, was planning to enter the industry. Along with his best friend and former teammate Aguero, he will soon be a co-owner of the KRU Esports team.

The Argentinean squad published an official statement to announce the news. It said: “Sergio Kun Aguero, CEO of KRU Esports and former professional football player, and Lionel Messi, the best footballer of all time, seal an alliance as partners of KRU, the esports organization created in 2020 by Kun.”

Following the release of the company’s announcement, Sergio Aguero issued a comment on the deal. On Tuesday, the former Argentina striker announced Messi as a co-owner of KRU in a brief video that concluded with the Inter Miami great stating, “Okay, let’s play.”

“I am happy to share a club with Leo, of course now in a new stage and with other challenges. It is an honor that he is part of KRU. He is the best footballer in history, and also a great friend. His presence is relevant because he projects values such as perseverance, humility and resilience. He is an inspirational figure and will be a great contribution to the scene in general”, Aguero said.

What does this mean for the esports world?

In terms of publicity for the esports business as a whole, this is a watershed event, since it represents the debut of one of the most renowned athletic public personalities in the world. After just four hours, the X post had already amassed over 10 million views and over 120,000 likes.

Aguero founded KRU in 2020, and the team has quickly become a powerhouse in the esports scene, with championships won in games including Rocket League, FIFA, League of Legends, and Valorant.

In 2019, the Manchester City striker started broadcasting during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Subsequently, he invested in the esports market. Most notably, Aguero created KRU Esports the following year. Previous speculation mentioned the possibility that Aguero would sell KRU.

Nonetheless, the news that the speculation was unfounded was met with relief by many admirers. On the contrary, Aguero rose to co-owner. That brought widespread praise from the esports world. With this news, KRU Esports hopes to become the most successful esports organization in South America. The team’s prospects piqued the interest of many fans.

Messi’s presence in the MLS has brought unprecedented attention to soccer in the United States; similarly, there is great hope that his entry into esports will do the same.

PHOTOS: IMAGO