Gerard Pique says that he isn't surprised that Lionel Messi has shone in the early stages of his move to MLS side Inter Miami.
Messi, 36, headed to the United States earlier this summer following the expiration of his contract with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. He has made an immediate impact at DRV PNK, bagging 11 goals and five assists in 11 games across competitions. He captained Vice City to their first trophy when they won the inaugural Leagues Cup last month, where he finished as top scorer with 10 goals.
Pique expected the iconic Argentine to do well at Inter Miami, as he reckons Messi is the greatest player of all time. The Spaniard also claims that Lionel Messi is finding it easy because the MLS isn't as demanding as Europe, telling The Club podcast:
"Yeah, I knew (he would do well). I mean Messi is the greatest of all time, and after winning the World Cup and arriving to MLS, (he was always) going to do great. In terms of quality, it's not as it is in Europe, so for him, it's like peanuts."
Messi joined Inter Miami as a FIFA World Cup winner after captaining Argentina to glory in Qatar last year. He starred at the quadrennial tournament with seven goals and three assists and also won the Golden Ball award.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was also in superb form for PSG, where he won consecutive Ligue 1 titles. Messi bagged 16 goals and as many assists in 32 league games.
Lionel Messi had the opportunity to rejoin his former club Barcelona or head to Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal this summer. However, the Argentine icon opted to join Inter Miami, and his signing is already proving to be both a sporting and commercial success for the Herons.
Vice City are unbeaten since Messi's arrival with 10 wins and one draw in 11 games across competitions. Three of those wins came on penalties. It's the polar opposite of the form the Herons were in before the legendary forward's arrival. They had lost five, drawn three and won one of nine games.
Emiliano Martinez wants Lionel Messi to play 2026 FIFA World Cup
It's still unknown whether Lionel Messi intends to play the 2026 World Cup should Argentina qualify. La Abiceleste kickstarted their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win over Ecuador on Thursday (September 7) night.
Messi bagged the winning goal with a superb free-kick, taking his tally to 104 goals and 56 assists in 176 international appearances. He could look to make more history with Lionel Scaloni's men following last year's heroics in Qatar.
His Argentina teammate Emiliano Martinez certainly wants him to do so. The Aston Villa goalkeeper wants the iconic forward to remain with La Abiceleste for the World Cup in three years time (via Abiceleste Talk):
“What would I say to Messi? I want to ask Leo to never leave, hopefully he will play the World Cup 2026.”
Messi has said that he would likely have retired from international duty had Argentina not won the World Cup last year. He has continued to wow fans with stunning performances for Scaloni's side since then, with six goals and one assist in four games.