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Lionel Messi named Time’s Athlete of the Year 2023: The first footballer to win the honour

Lionel Messi just keeps extending his list of honours and records with every passing day. The Argentine has now become the only footballer in history to be named the Time Athlete of the Year, after being recognised by the magazine for its 2023 award.

He also won the Ballon d’or for an eighth time in his illustrious career this year, the most of any player in history. After adding the World Cup to his trophy cabinet and finishing as the player of the tournament, he has called time on his career in Europe and is now seeing out the final chapter of his footballing journey in the MLS with Inter Miami. 

Lionel Messi named Time Athlete of the Year 2023 

Lionel Messi Wins his Record 8th Ballon dOr Image via Reuters 2 Lionel Messi named Time's Athlete of the Year 2023: The first footballer to win the honour
Soccer Football – 2023 Ballon d’Or – Chatelet Theatre, Paris, France – October 30, 2023 Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi with the men’s Ballon d’Or REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

The forward lifted the Ligue 1 title with PSG before leaving for Inter Miami, scoring 16 goals and providing 16 assists in 32 Ligue 1 games this past season. He also scored four goals in seven Champions League games, but was unable to guide them deep into the knockout stages. 

Only a few games after his debut with Inter Miami, the Argentine helped them lift the Leagues Cup, their first-ever trophy. The club also reached the finals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, but ultimately fell short with Messi unable to play due to an injury. 

Lionel Messi With the 2022 World Cup Image via Insider Lionel Messi named Time's Athlete of the Year 2023: The first footballer to win the honour

His influence on and off the pitch has been incredible to say the least, with Inter Miami’s season tickets for the 2024 season already sold out. 

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Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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