Taylor Twellman on The Awful Announcing Podcast with host Brandon Contes. Taylor Twellman on The Awful Announcing Podcast with host Brandon Contes.

Lionel Messi is not like Tom Brady. He’s not like LeBron James, either.

Despite his likely inclusion on the Mount Rushmore of modern athletes alongside Brady and James, Messi stands apart in his approach to media. While theirs tend to be more prominent, he prioritizes personal privacy and avoids extensive media engagements.

He also generally isn’t made available, which Taylor Twellman sounded off on an upcoming episode of the Awful Announcing podcast.

“I wish Apple mandated that Lionel Messi did more,” Twellman told host Brandon Contes. “He’s good when he’s available, but I’m a little surprised he’s not been as available as what I think he should be. Listen, the way I’ve always said this, if LeBron James and Tom Brady can give you any interview whenever you want in their field of action — on the field, before, pre-game, whenever it may be — then Lionel Messi has to do that in Major League Soccer.”

Twellman, the lead MLS analyst for Apple TV, said he thinks we (meaning MLS and Apple) may change that.

“I think it may come,” he continued. “I was just a little surprised that we didn’t get as much Lionel Messi in front of the cameras as I thought, or more so, as I hoped we would have.”

While MLS Commissioner Don Garber might argue for broader coverage, Messi’s global appeal understandably draws media attention, similar to how fans crave access to superstars like Brady and James. However, the expectation for athlete engagement in North American professional sports might not translate directly to Messi’s personal preferences.

As the 2024 MLS season begins, Lionel Messi’s first full year with Inter Miami, questions remain regarding his media availability and engagement. While he’s widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, perhaps letting teammates and coaches speak on his behalf should raise the question of how often he’ll personally engage with the media throughout the season.

The full episode of The Awful Announcing Podcast with Taylor Twellman will be released Friday morning. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. For more content, subscribe to AA’s YouTube page.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.