Why Is It So Hard to Buy a Lionel Messi Jersey?

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Lionel Messi official jerseys (referred to as “kits” by soccer and Ted Lasso fans) have become the Taylor Swift tickets of major league sports. Meaning they are next to impossible to get.

The soccer superstar signed with MLS Inter Miami this summer, and his kit immediately sold out. And bad news for fans, it’s staying that way until mid-October. Adidas, the official manufacturer, says that demand for the $160 authentic jersey is “truly unprecedented.”

Speaking to the media, Adidas senior director of soccer Tor Southard said the company is hard at work to deliver the goods to ga-ga Messi fans: “I’ve been with the brand for a long time, and I’ve never seen our brand mobilize around a project across so many functions to bring product to market so quickly.”

Screenshot from official Adidas

Considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of his era (and arguably of all time), Messi, 36, has previously played for Spain’s FC Barcelona and France’s Paris Saint-Germain over the course of his nearly two-decade-long career. He helped win three Champions League finals with Barcelona and brought home the World Cup for Argentina. He officially joined Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami this summer with a deal that has him committed to the team through the 2025 season, earning a compensation package between $50 to 60 million per year, according to the New York Times.

“I’m very excited to start this next step in my career with Inter Miami and in the United States,” he said in a statement. If we had an annual paycheck like that, we’d be excited too.

Related: ‘I’m Going to Miami.’ Lionel Messi Is Heading to the MLS’s Inter Miami CF.

Messi isn’t just generating money for himself. His involvement with the league is expected to be a boon for Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass subscription package. CNN reports that although Apple TV doesn’t share viewership numbers, a video clip of him scoring the game-winning goal in his first Inter Miami match has been viewed well over 200 million times. Tickets to that first game went for as high as $100,000, according to Sport Bible, which was attended by the likes of LeBron James, Kim Kardashian, Serena William, and David Beckham, who is co-owner of the team.

Speaking earlier about Messi’s massive signing, Beckham explained, “He’s at the stage of his career where he has made a decision to come to the MLS, to come to America, to come to Miami, to come to Inter Miami to win. He’s not come here for a holiday. He’s not come here to do anything other than win and inspire the next generation of soccer players here in this country.”

And also inspire online shoppers. Lots of them.

Related: Alex Rodriguez Is Reportedly Starting a Professional Sports Investment Fund With Assets ‘in the Billions’

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