Soccer legend Lionel Messi dazzled the Inter Miami crowd on Saturday night when he made his MLS debut with the team, scoring a late 89th-minute goal after he was substituted into the game in the second half. But while the packed crowd was happy with what they saw from Messi on the pitch, none of the media covering the event got to talk to the superstar after the match, which is a violation of MLS rules.
Following his highly-anticipated MLS debut in front of a sold-out crowd where tickets were sold for more than $1,000 on the secondary market, Miami spokeswoman Molly Dreska said that Messi would not be made available to reporters.
This is a violation of the league’s media rules. And while Messi is obviously the biggest star the league has ever seen, it was clear before the match that there was not supposed to be an exception made for him.
“Dan Courtemanche, MLS’s executive vice president of communications, said before the game that Messi, like all players, was required to be available to media after games,” the Associated Press wrote on Sunday.
While this was Messi’s first official MLS match, it was not his first with the team. Messi has captivated the league since he played his first match with Miami on July 21 in the Leagues Cup where he scored 10 goals in seven games at that competition and one U.S. Open Cup semifinal match.