Lionel Messi celebrations since MLS transfer prompt conspiracy theory

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Lionel Messi seemingly struck another Marvel-inspired pose after one of his strikes for Inter Miami versus Orlando City. (Image: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi seemingly struck another Marvel-inspired pose after one of his strikes for Inter Miami versus Orlando City. (Image: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi has made sure to pay homage to Marvel characters after a number of his goals in an Inter Miami shirt but social media users have their own theory about why that might be.

The World Cup winner has enjoyed a sterling start to life stateside, living up to his superstar billing with five strikes in just three appearances for the Herons. More observant onlookers may have noticed a pattern when it comes to his celebrations as well, leading some fans to come up with a conspiracy theory.

The 36-year-old attracted a lot of attention after his gesture in the direction of franchise co-owner David Beckham following one of his two goals in the 4-0 Leagues Cup win over Atlanta United. Cupping his hand and seemingly aiming it towards the ex-Manchester United hero was initially taken to signify the phrase "hold my beer".

However, this was thrown into doubt after the Argentine legend's wife Antonela Roccuzzo offered a unique piece of insight into the true meaning behind her husband's unique celebration. Taking to Instragram, she posted a snap of the moment in question, with this accompanied by a Thor GIF.

This reference to the famous Marvel character threw the previous theory regarding the genesis of the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner into significant doubt, therefore. In addition, it should be noted that Messi's three sons were present in the stands that night at DRV PNK Stadium and so it is perfectly feasible that he was making the gesture in their direction.

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The former Paris Saint-Germain forward did not stop there either and was at it again after one of his two goals in the subsequent 3-1 victory over Orlando City. In this instance, he would strike what has been interpreted to have been a Wakanda Forever pose, in reference to the hit Marvel movie "Black Panther", which had its sequel released last year.

Twitter users have now come up with their own theory of why the megastar is choosing to celebrate in this way, with some observers now convinced that his gestures form part of a commercial tie-in. One user posted a message intimating that Marvel has something to do with the Argentina international's poses, saying: "They have to be paying him for this."

Lionel Messi celebrations since MLS transfer prompt conspiracy theoryLionel Messi's celebration after his brace against Atlanta United appeared to be made in the direction of Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham (Antonela Roccuzzo/ Instagram)

Commenters did seem to be convinced that the theory holds weight, amid speculation that the celebrations have been arranged with the Disney-owned company as part of an agreement. Another user posted a tweet claiming "[Messi] doesn't get out of bed for less than £10000", with another adding "either [Marvel] are paying him or his sons [have] got something to do with it".

Whether this is the case remains to be seen but what is undeniable is that both Messi and MLS have lucrative deals with Adidas, who have entered into a partnership with Marvel for league sportswear and merchandise. That deal was signed back in June and a Marvel-themed ball was used as the MLS All-Stars took on Arsenal in a showpiece friendly last month.

Of course, the world-famous forward's deal with MLS includes lucrative commercial tie-ins with the likes of Adidas as well, with the German company having offered him a profit-sharing agreement. This will mean that he will earn a cut of the money generated through any increase in sales of merchandise as a result of his move to the US.

Tom Beattie

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