Time magazine voted Lionel Messi as the Best Athlete of the Year


The prestigious Time magazine is famous for its iconic Person of the Year award, awarded annually since 1927. Over its nearly 100-year history, this award has gone to famous figures such as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elon Musk…

However, the new Athlete of the Year award was presented for the first time in 2019. The Argentine star became the first non-American to win the title. Previously, Time awarded individuals and groups the title of Athlete of the Year including the US women’s soccer team (2019), LeBron James (2020), Simone Biles (2021), Aaron Judge (2022). .

Messi became the first football player in history to be honored as Athlete of the Year by America’s Time magazine. (Photo: Time) 

Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi was honored by Time magazine for the positive impact the 36-year-old player made after moving to Inter Miami FC and helping Major League Soccer. (MLS) has created great attraction. Time magazine commented: “Lionel Messi this year did what seemed impossible before, when he signed a contract with Inter Miami, which was to turn America into a football nation.”

Messi debuted for Inter Miami FC last July after leaving Paris Saint-Germain Club (France). He marked his appearance with a direct free kick in the final minutes of the match to bring a 2-1 victory to the host club. With the biggest signing in history and a world champion on their hands, Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup – their first major title – by defeating Nashville in the final in which Messi scored.

The Argentina international scored 11 goals in 14 matches in all competitions to end the season. Not only did he create a breakthrough impact on Inter Miami in particular and MLS in general, Messi also helped change public perception of soccer in the US, which was considered “inferior” compared to other sports. other sports like basketball or rugby.

On the day Messi debuted at Inter Miami, Apple TV added 110,000 new subscribers in the US for MLS Season Pass – a digital television service that exclusively broadcasts all MLS matches. This represents an increase of 1,700% and is the largest increase ever seen in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Europe. In addition, Inter Miami has also seen revenue increase to a record level of 120 million USD in 2023 (by the end of November 2023), more than double compared to last year and is currently planning to surpass this figure. amount of 200 million USD.

Last October, Messi won the Golden Ball title for the 8th time after leading the Argentina team to win the World Cup championship in Qatar in 2022. Not only did he set a record for the number of times he won this title. Messi also became the first player in history to win the Golden Ball while playing outside of Europe, and also helped MLS have a representative win the Golden Ball title for the first time.

Currently, Messi is actively training to prepare for the 2024 season. The Argentine superstar aims to help his host club win more titles and enter the MLS play-off round.

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