Time Magazine Doesn’t Think U.S. Is Ready For Lionel Messi

January 30, 2012 – 11:54 pm by Matthew Glenesk

Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world. The diminutive whiz is the three-time FIFA world player of the year. So naturally he’d grace plenty of magazine covers worldwide.

However here Stateside, King Leo apparently isn’t worthy yet (you know because soccer is still a niche sport in the U.S. despite the MLS’ continued growth and the exponential leap in interest in World Cups and Olympics – both men and women).

Time Magazine’s February 6th issue will feature Messi on its cover in Asia, Europe and Oceania. Not in the U.S. though.

The American Time cover instead features a small boy standing in a corner warning us about the effects of shyness.

Apparently, the only Lionel Americans care about is Richie. And to be honest, we hear more about his talentless daughter than the former Commodores lead man.

What’s ironic is that last week, SI.com (owned by Time Inc.) promoted its Ultimate Soccer Fantasy Draft, in which Sports Illustrated’s soccer writers/contributors picked from the best players of all-time. I repeat, ALL-TIME. Guess, who went first. Yup, Lionel Messi.

So Messi is good enough for Sports Illustrated to practically deem him the greatest player of all-time (still only 24-years old), but not good enough for the cover of the parent company’s flagship. Do Americans really hate soccer that much?

But you can’t blame Time’s editors really. They’re pretty picky about who they put on the cover. It’s usually reserved for those who really make a difference in the world. You know like Aldoph Hitler, who has featured on the cover twice, including in 1939 as Time’s Man of the Year.

It’s simple. In the U.S., a story about kids who won’t speak trumps a story about a sport most people don’t speak about.

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  1. 11 Responses to “Time Magazine Doesn’t Think U.S. Is Ready For Lionel Messi”

  2. messi
    does not need the usa approuval.

    messi does not need the usa. the usa is not the whole world.had he been an american, he would had been in the front cover. especially if he had been black.

    By hugo on Feb 1, 2012

  3. I’m American citizen for more than 35 yrs and a passionate follower of “real football” no soccer, in S. America and Europe for more than 30 yrs… It’s amazing for me that thru all the incredible athletic capabilities this great nation has, we can be so miserable ignorant about the greatest sport of this planet, which the World Cup carries in the final, 3 times over the global view than the Super Bowl and the World Series combined… And Leo Messi is the professional athlete more rewarded, with more trophies, cups, prizes and medals awarded than any other sporting person in the world (more than 400) and he is only 24 yrs old…And was voted the most influential athlete in the whole world, and “HE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE USA?”… Remember, the world is much, much bigger than 316 millions Americans…And with the kind of attitude of superiority some people have here we can’t never succeed… The LORD said, “Humble yourself, and I will exalt you”… Adios Amigos!!

    By Ernest Ledesma on Feb 1, 2012

  4. @ Ernest well said! The american public need to remember that whatever don’t make the “cut” here doesn’t mean that the rest of the world will reject it.

    By Rick on Feb 1, 2012

  5. It’s the media that is not ready, trust me Americans are becoming very passionate about soccer. If the media would give it the proper coverage the game would be way ahead in the mainstream..

    By Jean Vincent on Feb 1, 2012

  6. Even SI shortchanged soccer recently. Messi should have been a clearcut winner of the 2011 SI Sportsman of the Year, no other athlete on the planet is performing at the same level he is.

    Instead, SI awards it to 2 college coaches as more of a recognition to their overall career achievement. Seems the SI voters went out of their way to not recognize Messi as Sportsman of the Year.

    By mike on Feb 1, 2012

  7. In the world of the 1960s or even in the 1990s, our overwhelming economic power justified a kind of cultural arrogance where we did not have to give a hoot about what the rest of the world was up to. However, in these heady days, in a world where we are well on our irreversible way down the slippery slope of being replaced as the world’s factory, we should pause and ponder. Back in the good old days most of us could find that factory job and buy a car and eat steak and rationalize that baseball, basketball and football were the only games a man needed to concern himself with. Now, where most of us lack the education to find a job in the new economy, we should pause and ponder. What if Americans have to go where the jobs are; overseas. Do they carry the Eagles in Brazil?

    By Shchors on Feb 2, 2012

  8. Jean Vincent pretty much said it. here in the States American football is pushed..always has been..and Baseball..and the NBA. when it comes to SOCCER ( by the way Ernest..THE WORD SOCCER was used in England for the game )..we have plenty of soccer fans..but its sports corporations like ESPN that have over the years done more Harm then good to make the game more popular here in the usa. lets see how ABC DOES.

    By chaz on Feb 2, 2012

  9. To All the Ignorant part of Journalism:
    I have been a FĂștbol player, coach as well as a sports Writer, Game Announcer, Analyst and TV Producer in the “Beautiful Game” World for over 45 years. However, I can not believe “The Arrogance” of Time and Sport Illustrated regarding the Sport’s Most Gifted Player in the world…Leonel Messi!
    Anyhow, second to him were Alfredo DiStefano, Diego Maradona, Pele and Mohamed Ali. Only above him…God and The Pope.

    By Giovanni Vergonzolli on Apr 3, 2012

  10. He deserves to be on the cover, plus he is very popular here in the US.

    By Jack on Jun 1, 2012

  11. These are in fact great ideas in regarding blogging. You have
    touched some fastidious factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    By agen bola on Oct 1, 2012

  12. Soccer is a sport played by children and women in the United States. Why? Because men only play manly sports: REAL football (played with a pigskin), basketball, baseball, hockey. Soccer, by contrast, is slow, boring, and uneventful. Oh look, 90 minutes of watching midgets kick a ball back and forth across a soccer field. Face it you soccer-loving losers: your sport is totally uninteresting; consequently, it’s no wonder the U.S. has had zero interest in it, and will forever continue to ignore it.

    By looping on Feb 25, 2013

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