Global soccer star and World Cup champion Lionel Messi is getting into esports. On Tuesday, former Argentine soccer player Sergio Agüero announced Messi would be joining him as a co-owner of KRÜ Esports.
Agüero created KRÜ in 2020 and has become best known for its VALORANT team. KRÜ has been the best VALORANT team from Latin America over the past three years. In 2021, KRÜ reached the semifinals of VALORANT Champions, and qualified for the tournament again in 2022 and 2023. Ahead of the 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour season, KRÜ were one of two Latin American teams selected by Riot Games to form part of the 10-team VCT Americas league.
KRÜ has also fielded teams in FIFA, Rocket League and League of Legends as well as a women’s VALORANT team. According to a recent Agüero stream, KRÜ are looking to get into Counter-Strike 2.
“I am happy to share the club with Leo, of course in a new phase and with new challenges,” Agüero said in a press release in Spanish. “It’s an honor that he’s part of KRÜ. He’s the best footballer in history and a great friend. His presence is relevant because he projects values like perseverance, humility and resilience. He’s somebody who inspires everyone and will be a great contribution for the [esports] scene in general.”
Agüero and Messi competed against each other in the top-flight Spanish soccer league (La Liga) from 2006 to 2011. Throughout the 2010s, the two were teammates on the Argentine national soccer team and played in multiple World Cups and Copa America tournaments. However, Agüero was not on the 2022 team when Messi finally won a World Cup. While Agüero is retired from soccer, Messi is still competing and made a splash earlier this year in signing with MLS team Inter Miami after nearly two decades competing in Europe.
Messi is the latest global soccer star to get involved in esports. In addition to Agüero, David Beckham (Guild Esports) and Gerard Piqué (KOI) are other notable soccer stars who are co-owners of esports teams.
Lead photo credit: KRÜ Esports