When seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, announced he was heading to Miami to play for Inter Miami, it made headlines throughout the globe.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for soccer enthusiasts to see how a legendary player helped revitalize the sport in North America. Apple TV+ has begun streaming the six-part docuseries “Messi Meets America“, which gives an in-depth look at the Argentine’s transition to Major League Soccer.
As stated in a press release issued by the streaming service, 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.”
According to the press announcement, the series will investigate Messi’s adaptation to American culture and assess the effect he has had on soccer in North America as “Messi Mania crisscrosses the continent.”
Despite the premise, the film does not provide any interesting behind-the-scenes video or personal insights into Messi the man. Messi Meets America is essentially a sales pitch for Messi and MLS in the United States.
According to the Telegraph, though, this is not a documentary at all. Instead, it is a lengthy advertisement for Major League Soccer, which, coincidentally enough, can be seen primarily on Apple TV.
They say it is a compilation of slow-motion footage showing the World Cup winner strutting his stuff on the field. Ecstatic supporters and pundits chant in the background.
Here’s what other critics thought of the series:
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+”
ESPN: “It often feels like a promotional campaign”
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What do other critics say about Messi Meets America?
Additionally, CNN sees it as an effort to make Messi’s introduction to US soccer into a joyful event. It provides glimpses of local life in the towns the team travels to. While focusing mostly on David Beckham, the documentary also features interviews with the other members of the MLS club. For example, Apple adds teammates, ticket salespeople and the equipment manager.
Critics have contended that Beckham, owner of the Herons, has known for some time that he can profit off fame. This documentary shows that he understands that marketing Inter Miami to American fans requires a celebrity endorsement. He sees the draw in the most famous, renowned, and marketable athlete in the world. Messi immediately became a household name.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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