Inter Miami and Argentine legendary footballer, Lionel Messi has been named Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year.
Recall that after Lionel Messi dominated football in Europe between 2004 to 2023, while playing at FC Barcelona and then Paris Saint Germain, he decided to move out of the continent for America as he joined Inter Miami in the summer of 2023.
Since he arrived in Inter Miami in July this year, the 36-year-old Argentina international has scored 11 goals in 14 games in all competitions. In a short while, Messi helped the Major League Soccer (MLS) club to win the club’s first major title, the Leagues Cup.
In October this year, Messi won the 2023 Ballon d’Or making him the first footballer to win it eight times and to win it while playing outside Europe.
After Messi was named Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2023, the magazine claimed that Messi’s arrival in the MLS has raised retail sales, viewership, ticket pricing, and attendance at MLS games.
The magazine added: “Lionel Messi this year managed to do what once seemed impossible when he signed with Inter Miami: turning the US into a soccer country”.
Previous recipients of Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year include the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (2019), the NBA star LeBron James (2020), gymnast Simone Biles (2021), and Baseball player Aaron Judge (2022).