“GOAT Stuff” – Lionel Messi named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year sends fans on CLOUD 9 

Lionel Messi is inevitable.

“GOAT Stuff” – Lionel Messi named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year sends fans on CLOUD 9 

Lionel Messi is the TIME's Athlete of the Year 2023. (Images via Sport.es & TIME)

Lionel Messi, considered one of the greatest in football, secured his top status by winning every major trophy by 2022. Following his eighth Ballon d’Or, Messi is now TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year.

Messi has had an incredible 2022 and 23, winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup with his nation and the Ligue 1 with his club, Paris Saint Germain. The forwards then shifted to the United States of America, to play for Inter Miami. His move to the Miami club brought a huge change to the football culture in the country, with even fans who were never interested in the sport going to matches.


A rapper interviewed by TIME, called Fat Joe, admitted that he was never a big football/’soccer’ fan. Despite not being a fan, he made sure to attend Inter Miami’s game against Red Bull New York where the Argentine scored. He called Messi a “culture shifter.”

Perhaps this is the reason Messi has been awarded the TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year. His decision to play in the States has caused a massive rise in football fanatics. Further, Chicago Fire usually drew about 15,000 fans per match at Soldier Field. However, when the Argentine player joined, the attendance soared to over 60,000. On his debut, an impressive 110,000 fans bought MLS season passes to watch the tournament.

Fans claim this award confirms Lionel Messi’s spot as the GOAT

Fans on the X were ecstatic as Lionel Messi won the prestigious award. Moreover, they claim this decision means Messi is officially the greatest of all time. Others were unhappy, as they believed tennis stars like Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcazraz deserved the award instead. 

Argentina's Lionel Messi kissing the World Cup trophy
Argentina’s Lionel Messi kissing the World Cup trophy. (Image via CNN)

Check out some of the fans’ reactions below: 

Meanwhile, Messi will now feature for Inter Miami in the next season. Despite failing to make it to the MLS Playoffs, the club will now have a lot to foot for in the future, with his teammate Benjamin Cremaschi claiming the club will now be harder to beat. 

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