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Paramount+ aims new Champions League advert at Lionel Messi with cheeky message

  /  autty

Lionel Messi was the subject of a Paramount+ advert during the Super Bowl advising him how to watch the Champions League now that he is no longer playing in it.

Messi, 36, made his debut in the competition as a 17-year-old in December 2003 and has played in it every year since until this one. It is a tournament the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner won four times while at Barcelona and scored 129 goals in, mainly for the Catalan club, but also during a two-season stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

Across two decades, Messi made 163 appearances in the competition but will not add to that tally after signing for Inter Miami. He does not have merely a spectator's brief over proceedings.

Paramount+, the streaming service that airs the Champions League on behalf of CBS across the United States, used their 30-second-long Super Bowl advert to remind him how to watch the competition from his new home in Miami. The ad will have cost Paramount around £5.5million ($7m) to air, as that was the rough price of commercials during Super Bowl LVIII.

It begins with the host of their Champions League coverage, Kate Abdo, addressing the camera. "America, I'm not here to talk to you," she states as the words 'A MESSAGE FOR ONE PERSON" appear.

"I'm talking to you," Abdo adds, pointing down the camera inside the CBS studio, "the GOAT (greatest of all-time)."

Graphical representations of Messi's Barcelona, Argentina and Inter Miami number ten shirts then materialise on-screen.

"How's Miami?" she asks before reminding him: "(For) two decades you dominated Champions League soccer. Now what?" Abdo answers: "You'll have to watch it like us, but there's a time zone thing. They're (matches) in the middle of the day.

"So tell your bend it like boss (referencing the 2002 film 'Bend It Like Beckham,' referring to David Beckham, Inter Miami's president) you're 'training from home' Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and all the matches stream on Paramount+."

Abdo continued: "So enjoy a month free on us. Try the promo code G-O-A-T." The ad then cuts to a scene where Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards and Thierry Henry, pundits on CBS' Champions League coverage, are sat at chairs around a circular desk in the same studio holding mobile phones.

"It doesn't work for me," Richards remarks. Carragher concurs: "Yeah, me neither."

Henry then replies: "Well, it's working for me," while putting his phone on the desk. "Try donkey," he tells Carragher while pointing at his fellow pundit, eliciting an eruption of laughter from the trio. And a reference to Carragher's tale of the time Messi called him a donkey.

Messi could watch his two former teams play first knockout round ties over the next two Wednesday nights. PSG are first up as they host Real Sociedad this week before Barcelona travel to Napoli the following week. However, unfortunately for Messi, Inter Miami kicks off the MLS season against Real Salt Lake on the same day Barcelona plays.