Lionel Messi named Time Magazine’s 2023 athlete of the year | OneFootball

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The Independent

·6. Dezember 2023

Lionel Messi named Time Magazine’s 2023 athlete of the year

Artikelbild:Lionel Messi named Time Magazine’s 2023 athlete of the year

Lionel Messi has been named TIME magazine’s 2023 Athlete of the Year after his scintillating debut season at Inter Miami.

The Argentine only signed for the MLS club in July but scored 11 goals in only 14 games as David Beckham’s side shot up the table.


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They ultimately missed out on a spot in the MLS playoffs but the 36-year-old was able to help guide the club to their first-ever trophy as they won the Leagues Cup in August, with Messi scoring in the final.

Inter Miami also reached the US Open Cup final, although the Argentine missed the game with injury as his side narrowly lost to Houston Dynamo.

Only a few months ago - at the end of October - Messi was rewarded for his fine season as he claimed his record eighth Ballon d’Or trophy. It comes not only after his superb domestic campaign in the MLS but also for his exploits with the Argentine national team, which saw Messi play a pivotal role in winning the country’s first World Cup since 1968 at the end of last year.

Having seen out his contract with Paris-Saint Germain, Messi then decided to move stateside, missing out on the opportunity to return to his boyhood club, Barcelona, and turning down a huge money offer to join Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.

“My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible,” Messi told TIME. “I tried to return, and it did not happen.” Saudi Arabia, indeed, was very much in the mix.

“It is also true that later I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league, where I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future.”

His move to the MLS to join David Beckham’s side has had perhaps the greatest cultural impact on the league’s following since the aforementioned Brit’s arrival from Real Madrid in 2007. Viewership and attendance have both skyrocketed, while Messi’s pink shirt outsold any sports jersey in history in its first 24 hours, generating $600m to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United and Tom Brady’s move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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