SPORTS: Lionel Messi named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of Year
Messi helped Inter Miami win North America’s Leagues Cup in August, then secured his record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or award
Inter Miami’s Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, the US news magazine confirmed on X.
Messi was honored by TIME after his move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami from French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in July.
In August, the 36-year-old led Inter Miami to North America’s Leagues Cup triumph, which was the US club’s first title in history.
He scored 10 goals in seven Leagues Cup matches for Inter Miami to make a big impact on US soccer in a short time.
Then in October, Messi took his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or award after guiding Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup title. It was Argentina’s first World Cup victory since 1986.
Messi, who played for Barcelona for more than a decade, scored 672 goals in 778 appearances to be the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer.
He won numerous titles at Barcelona, including 10 Spanish La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles.
During his football career, Messi won 44 trophies including the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup with Argentina.
Named the TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, Messi joined world-famous US athletes Simone Biles (Gymnastics) and LeBron James (Basketball), and the US women’s national soccer team, as well as New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (Baseball), who won this award in 2022.