Lionel Messi’s trip to the grocery could be a publicity stunt.
Before the soccer star’s debut with his new team, MLS’s Inter Miami, Messi was recently spotted shopping at Publix with his family — but according to Fox Soccer analyst Alexi Lalas, the trip to the grocery was actually a staged event by Messi’s PR team.
“One of the things they did – when I say ‘did’ it was because it was completely planned – Messi was in his new city and what do you do when you’re in a new city? You stock the refrigerator,” Lalas said. “‘Lo and behold, he comes into a Publix. For those who don’t know, Publix is the ubiquitous grocery store in that area of the woods. And lo, he shows up there with a cart full of stuff that he’s going to stock in his refrigerator.
“It takes a few clicks to go to the Inter Miami website and reach out to their corporate partners and wow! Wonderful! Public! there is! Well, great. I loved every systematic second of it. But it’s part of the transaction and it’s part of what Messi brings to this position. You better reach out to it and use it with logic whenever you get the chance. And by doing things right, you can maximize Messi’s presence on and off the field.”
If the shopping trip was indeed a publicity stunt, it certainly worked, as Messi was seen posing for pictures with fans inside the supermarket.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was seen stocking up on cereal for their new home in Miami with his wife Antonella as well as their three sons, Thiago, 10, Mateo, 7, and Ciro, 5.
The only Messi family member missing from the excursion was their dog, Hulk, a French Mastiff.
During the shopping trip, Messi was seen in a casual black T-shirt, white shorts and clear slides – appropriately dressed for the Miami heat.
Some of his tattoos were also visible in his attire, most notably a tattoo on his lower left leg containing the childhood handprints of his son Thiago and a tattoo on his lower right leg containing the birth dates of Messi’s wife and children.
However, the Argentine has had little time to adjust to life in Miami as he will be back in action with Inter Miami on Friday, July 21, when the team take on Cruz Azul in the League Cup.
The 36-year-old will rock the new jersey, which features Inter Miami’s primary colors of pink and black.
Messi and his team will then take on Atalanta on July 25, which is also a part of the cup game.