Lionel Messi: Inter Miami Ace Named TIME Athlete of the Year 2023

Lionel Messi: Inter Miami Ace Named TIME Athlete of the Year 2023

Fred Kennedy
updated at December 6, 2023 at 9:32 AM
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  • The TIME Athlete of the Year award was introduced in 2019
  • Lionel Messi has become the first footballer to win the prize
  • The veteran won just weeks after he claimed the Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to yet another honour after being named the TIME Athlete of the Year for 2023.

The Argentine superstar has enjoyed a successful year, claiming his eighth Ballon d'Or award in November.

Lionel Messi celebrates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi-final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Lionel Messi celebrates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi-final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

No player has won as many editions of the prestigious award, with only Ronaldo coming closest with five.

EuroSport reports Messi claimed the honour after a stellar 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar, where he helped Argentina claim the global football showpiece.

His triumph saw many claim that he had effectively completed football and cemented his place as the greatest the sport has ever seen.

Messi named TIME Athlete of the Year

However, after adding another prize to his already illustrious career, the 36-year-old is seemingly not done yet.

Sportbible reports that the Barcelona legend has now become the first footballer to be named the TIME Athlete of the Year.

The award to honour athletes was introduced in 2019, with NBA superstar LeBron James, Simon Biles, and Aaron Judge among the previous winners.

Messi claimed the honour after a stellar debut in the MLS with Inter Miami, scoring 11 goals in just 14 matches before the season ended.

The Argentine joined the Florida-based outfit on a free transfer after quitting Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season when his contract with the French club expired.

The forward was initially linked with a move to Saudi Arabia and a potential reunion with Barcelona, before he opted to move to the MLS.

Businesses owned by Lionel Messi

Sports Brief has also reported that Messi has never been known for his business acumen but for his sheer talent on the pitch.

It is a talent that has seen him grace the greatest football podiums to the point of being referred to as the greatest of all time.

However, considering the brand and reputation he has built over the years, some may ask what businesses Lionel Messi owns.

Authors
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Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.