Time Magazine’s Choice: Lionel Messi, the Athlete of the Year

Lionel Messi has once again captured the world’s attention, emerging as a trending icon following his illustrious achievements in 2023. Named Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year, Messi’s impact transcends the boundaries of football, reaching new heights with his record-breaking eighth Ballon d’Or win and a game-changing move to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi’s extraordinary year began with a historic triumph on the international stage. The Argentine captain played a pivotal role in guiding his national team to their first World Cup title in 36 years, securing victory over defending champions France in a memorable final last December. This achievement alone would have solidified Messi’s place in football history, but the maestro was far from finished.

Adding to his list of accolades, Messi clinched the Ballon d’Or for an unprecedented eighth time, showcasing his enduring brilliance and dominance in the world of football. The award recognized Messi’s exceptional skill, leadership, and contributions to the sport, further solidifying his status as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Amidst the culmination of his achievements, Lionel Messi made headlines with a surprising move from Paris St Germain to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami. The decision, made after weighing multiple offers, demonstrated Messi’s appetite for new challenges and his desire to leave a lasting impact on the global soccer stage.

Messi’s arrival at Inter Miami proved to be a game-changer, both on and off the pitch. His prowess was on full display as he scored 10 goals in seven Leagues Cup appearances, propelling the team to victory in the tournament that featured MLS teams and sides from Mexico. Beyond the goals, Messi’s influence reached unprecedented heights off the pitch.

The Argentine star’s move to Inter Miami caused a seismic cultural shift in the U.S., turning the nation into a soccer-centric country. A surge in searches for match dates and tickets to witness Messi’s magic in action became evident, with fans clamoring to secure a spot in the stadiums. The official pink Inter Miami shirts flew off the shelves, and the price of tickets skyrocketed as spectators eagerly anticipated witnessing Messi’s brilliance live.

Messi’s influence extended beyond the field, leaving a substantial imprint on media and entertainment platforms. The surge in interest translated into a significant increase in subscriptions for Apple TV, which holds a 10-year partnership with the MLS. The ripple effect of Messi’s move was not only felt in stadiums but also in living rooms across the U.S.

With a staggering 494 million followers on Instagram, Messi has become more than just a soccer legend; he’s a trending icon making headlines and reshaping the narrative of soccer in unexpected ways.