Somali Magazine – Lionel Messi of Inter Miami was selected TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, the US news magazine reported on X.
TIME praised Messi upon his July transfer from French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami.
The 36-year-old led Inter Miami to North America’s League Cup victory in August, the club’s first title in history.
He scored ten goals in seven League Cup appearances for Inter Miami to make an immediate impact on US soccer.
Then, in October, Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or after leading Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup triumph. Argentina won its first World Cup since 1986.
Messi, who played for Barcelona for over a decade, is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances.
He won 10 Spanish La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles during his time at Barcelona.
Messi won 44 trophies during his football career, including the Copa America in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022 with Argentina.
Messi joins world-famous US athletes Simone Biles (Gymnastics) and LeBron James (Basketball), as well as the US women’s national soccer team and New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (Baseball), in being named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year.