Messi named Time’s ‘Athlete of the Year’

Thursday, Dec 07, 2023

LOS ANGELES: Lionel Messi has been named Time magazine´s “Athlete of the Year” for 2023 after a trailblazing season marked by an eighth Ballon d´Or award and his ground-breaking move to Major League Soccer´s Inter Miami.

Time said the Argentine superstar had already had a transformative impact on the American sporting landscape, which has been historically slow to embrace football.

“Lionel Messi this year managed to do what once seemed impossible, when he signed with Inter Miami: turning the US into a soccer country,” Time commented.

The 36-year-old Messi made his debut for Miami in July following an acrimonious departure from Paris Saint-Germain. The World Cup-winner also rebuffed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia in favor of a new chapter in MLS.

The eight-time Ballon d´Or winner made an instant impact on Miami´s fortunes, playing a pivotal role in helping the team win the expanded Leagues Cup, a cross-border competition for teams from MLS and Mexico´s top flight.