Lionel Messi has been named Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2023

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been named Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2023 after winning the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time and elevating the profile of the sport in the US with his move to Inter Miami. Messi played a key role in guiding Argentina to their first World Cup title in 36 years when they beat defending champions France in the final in December last year.

The 36-year-old had no shortage of offers when he left Paris St Germain earlier this year, choosing to sign for Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami despite being linked with his former team Barcelona and a big-money move to Saudi side Al-Hilal.

“The truth is that fortunately, I had several options on the table that were interesting, and I had to analyse them and think, even weigh them up with my family, before making the final decision to come to Miami,” Messi told Time.

Messi made an instant impact at Miami, scoring 10 goals in seven Leagues Cup appearances as he spurred them to victory in the tournament which features MLS teams as well as sides from Mexico. The Argentine’s arrival in the US also made waves off the pitch, causing a massive spike in searches for match dates and tickets to see him in action, with fans also buying up his official pink Inter Miami shirt.

The price of tickets to Inter Miami games skyrocketed, while Apple TV, which has a 10-year partnership with the MLS, saw a significant increase in subscriptions, according to research firm Antenna.

“Messi managed to do what once seemed impossible: turning the US into a soccer country,” Time wrote. Simone Biles, LeBron James and the United States women’s soccer team have won the award in recent years, with Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees winning in 2022.

Source: eNCA

In other news – Jamie Foxx breaks silence on unknown medical condition

Jamie Foxx made his first public appearance at an award show after going through a scary medical emergency. The 55-year-old actor showed up to the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Cinema & Television Honoring Black, Latino & AAPI Achievements where he received the Vanguard Award for The Burial.

Jamie Foxx

Jamie accepted the accolade from his co-star Jurnee Smollett and addressed the audience at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. You know, it’s crazy, I couldn’t do that six months ago — I couldn’t actually walk,” he said and took a pause to hold back his tears while the attendees applauded and told him to “take his time. Read more

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