Media coverage of football in Europe is never-ending. It's a constant 24/7 news cycle that every outlet possible wants to latch on to. The same cannot be said for coverage in the United States. In this country, soccer is optimistically the fifth most popular sport and is hardly ever covered by major sports media outlets. Admittedly the coverage has improved over the last five years or so, but it pales in comparison to what the major countries in Europe have.
That's why the news of Lionel Messi gracing the cover of one of the USA's most prominent sports magazines is rather big news. It was announced on Wednesday that the Barcelona superstar will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated's next edition.
Not only will Messi feature on the cover, but he'll have his own article that he's written himself in the magazine.
With the Copa America Centenario taking place in the U.S., big media outlets are taking notice and with Messi being the most marketable player in the tournament, it makes sense for him to be the posterboy.