Argentinian legend Lionel Messi has been crowned TIME’S Athlete of the Year for 2023, triumphing over tennis sensation Novak Djokovic.
Messi captured this prestigious honor due to his immediate impact since joining Inter Miami in Major League Soccer last summer.
When Messi arrived at Inter Miami in July, the team found themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
However, he quickly transformed their fortune, leading them to victory and clinching their first League Cup in August.
During the campaign, the 36-year-old talisman netted an impressive ten goals in just seven games.
This recognition by TIME makes Messi the first soccer player to receive their coveted Athlete of the Year award, previously claimed by the US Women’s National Team in 2019.
Joining the ranks of past individual recipients such as LeBron James, Simone Biles, and Aaron Judge, this accolade is a testament to Messi’s mastery on the field.
Alongside this achievement, he can also boast recent titles and awards, including a World Cup victory and his eighth Ballon d’Or crown.
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