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Soccer | Dec 05

Leo Messi Is TIME’s Athlete of the Year

Messi Is the First Non-American to Snatch the Title

Leo Messi Is TIME’s Athlete of the Year
Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF | Megan Briggs/Getty Images/AFP

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[Messi has] lifted more gold in 11 months than Ronaldo has in three years…

Barack Obama? Mark Zuckerberg? Richard Nixon? Nah, mate, it’s Lionel Messi!

While the aforementioned figures have been previously named TIME Magazine’s People of the Year, it’s Messi’s time to take center stage as the Athlete of the Year.

At this point, we should refer to Leo Messi as Britney because “Oops, he’s done it again,” yet another piece of silverware added to his overflowing trophy cabinet, and this time, it’s Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year award.


Just 352 days have passed since Messi led Argentina to victory at the FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The 36-year-old then made the switch from PSG to Inter Miami in July, and after making his debut with a spectacular last-minute free-kick, he swiftly became one of the most iconic figures in American sports.

However, his pivotal relocation to the United States nearly never took place.

Despite receiving a far higher transfer fee from a team in the Saudi Arabian Pro League, Messi revealed in an interview with TIME that returning to Barcelona had been his primary goal upon leaving PSG.

Would TIME magazine – based in New York – have given the award to the G.O.A.T of soccer had he returned to Spain over Miami? F*ck no, but he’ll gladly take more of the A-list spotlight now that he’s here. After all, it’s only going to infuriate Ronaldo fans even more.

The mere mention of Messi’s name riffles up the Ronaldo fan base, so we know exactly how they feel whenever the Argentinian soccer legend tops the latest soccer news

Messi has only played in 14 games for Miami. Still, he already has contributed 11 goals and five assists, and he has also helped the team win a trophy—the 2023 Leagues Cup—with a series of miraculous performances.

Messi was named the finest male soccer player in the world for a record-breaking eighth time in October when earning the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.

And with that, he’s lifted more gold in 11 months than Ronaldo has in three years (Sorry, I can’t help myself).

If we place the joyous moments of taking soccer rumors and using them to piss off Ronaldo fans for a moment, Messi genuinely deserves the praise and recognition he’s received in the latter stage of his career.

Whether you agree he’s the greatest ever to grace a soccer pitch or not, there’s no denying that he’s one of the top five players in the sport’s history.

 

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