MLS: Emeka Eneli recounts experience playing against Messi

Emeka Eneli

Real Salt Lake City full-back Emeka Eneli said it was a “surreal” feeling when he faced Lionel Messi in the 2024 Major League Soccer (MLS) season opener back in February.

The Utah outfit were up against Inter Miami at Chase Stadium with Messi starting his first full season having joined mid-way on a free transfer front Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner has lit up the MLS with dazzling displays and was not exempted against Real Salt Lake as he had a hand in the two goals that secured a 2-0 win for Inter Miami but Eneli could not hide his joy facing Messi that day.

“[It felt] like a fever dream honestly,” he told MLS Season Pass

“Even looking back at it right now, I still really can’t believe it. It’s almost been two or three months since it happened but I still think about it when I go to sleep at night.

“And so it just felt surreal and I’m just had the chance to experience that.”

Eneli was born in Lansing, Michigan to Nigerian parents and made his way into Real Salt Lake as the 25th overall pick during the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.

The 24-year-old has since played 42 times for Real Salt Lake, scoring one goal in a 2-1 defeat at home to Colorado Rapids. The 2009 MLS Cup champions currently lead the Western Conference standings.

Messi meanwhile leads the MLS goalscorers charts this season with 10 goals and 13 assists in 12 games while Inter Miami currently lead the Eastern Conference after failing to reach the playoffs last season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories