Lionel Messi: Ballon d’Or Winner Named Inter Miami’s 2023 MVP Despite Playing 14 Games

Lionel Messi: Ballon d’Or Winner Named Inter Miami’s 2023 MVP Despite Playing 14 Games

Elijah Odetokun
updated at November 13, 2023 at 11:35 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
  • Lionel Messi has been named Inter Miami's MVP for the 2023 season
  • The Argentine joined the club in July and immediately inspired a win
  • He played 14 games but contributed to winning the club's first trophy

Lionel Messi has been announced as Inter Miami's most valuable player for the 2023 season, despite debuting for the club late in July and playing just 14 games.

Messi officially moved to the Florida-based club on July 1 after running down his two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain and turning down offers from elsewhere.

He debuted in the Leagues Cup 2-1 group stage victory over Mexican club, Cruz Azul and scored a last-minute match-winning free kick in the dying minutes.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, Charlotte FC, DRV PNK Stadium.
Lionel Messi in action during the 2-1 friendly loss to Charlotte FC to celebrate his 8th Ballon d'Or win. Photo by Rich Storry.
Source: Getty Images

Per Marca, he captained the club to the Leagues Cup - the first-ever trophy in the club's history - scoring in the final against Nashville SC and converting his penalty in the shootout.

Messi named Inter Miami's MVP

As contained in an official statement by the club, the Argentina captain is the club's player for the 2023 season, becoming the fourth winner of the award and the second Argentine to win it.

He played 14 games in all competitions, scoring 11 goals, providing eight assists, and reaching two finals. Injury kept him out of the US Open Cup final, which the team lost to Houston Dynamo.

The club hosted a friendly match against Charlotte FC as part of activities to celebrate his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or award, which he won after a triumphant World Cup campaign in Qatar.

The Floridian hosts lost the game 2-1, but the opening ceremony was the highlight of the day, during which Messi applauded the fans and promised even more titles next year.

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Yedlin's verdict on Messi's season

Sports Brief reported on Inter Miami teammate, DeAndre Yedlin rating Messi's first season at the club after their playoff hopes were dashed versus Cincinnati.

The American acknowledged the Argentine's role in winning a trophy for the first time in club history but admitted things could have ended with more success.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.