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Messi: “Thank You America, For Letting Me Kick Your Asses.”

Do they even know what soccer is?

By T. Kent Jones

MIAMI - Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi has scored a jaw-dropping nine goals in just six games to power Inter Miami to the Leagues Cup Final against Nashville SC Saturday.

After the 4-1 win over Philadelphia, Messi told End of the Bench, “Am I that good or does everyone here just really suck?”

Over mojitos on Miami’s Ocean Drive, End of the Bench Sports sat down for an exclusive interview with the world’s greatest footballer, who candidly shared his thoughts about his recent success on the pitch and the state of American soccer.

“Last year, after winning a World Cup with Argentina I wasn't sure what to do with myself,” said Messi. “Turns out what I really enjoy is making top American players look like three-legged donkeys in exchange for millions of dollars.”

He marveled at the lack of defense in the MLS.

“It's like they're not even guarding me. I have all the open space in the world. During one match last week, I trotted over to the corner of the pitch, made some phone calls, and then had a mango smoothie. Two minutes later, someone passed me the ball and I scored immediately.”

Messi acknowledged this is a complete contrast to the grueling European leagues he's used to.

“Every match was such a grind,” remembers Messi, taking a sip of his mojito. “But here in America, kids grow up on baseball, basketball, and football and it makes their soccer, how do you say…suck-ful? Maybe the sportswriters are correct: Messi is playing chess and MLS is playing with themselves. Did I get that right?”

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Miami will play in its first-ever Leagues Club final in team history, completing a spectacular turnaround for a club that before Messi was the worst in Major League Soccer. Inter Miami will also play in their first-ever CONCACAF Champions Cup next year.

“People everywhere like winning. They're selling millions of pink Miami jerseys because of me. And pink shorts! Ugliest goddamn kit in the world,” Messi said. “But everyone buys anyway because it says Messi on the back. Pink jersey, green money, lots of mojitos.”

Messi is 36, and despite playing better than ever, does he ever wonder how long he can keep playing at this level?

“Before I came to Miami, I thought two more years and I’m done. But now that I see how bad American soccer really is, I could be here till I’m 50, easy!”

He seems to be scoring at will so we had to ask: is he bored?

“I’ll keep myself amused somehow. Maybe I’ll play a match wearing a giant mascot head. Or with one leg tied behind me. Right now, I’m just so grateful for this ridiculously easy gig,” the international superstar said. “Hey look, there’s a whole family wearing those ugly goddamn Messi jerseys! Mes-si! Mes-si! Mes-si!”

Messi posed for a selfie with all six of them, finished his mojito, and sighed contentedly, the waves lapping gently in the distance.

“For all the readers of End of the Bench, I just want to say this-- thank you America. Thank you for letting me kick your asses.”

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