Lionel Messi makes history as first footballer awarded Time Magazine’s ‘Athlete of the Year’

Lionel Messi has added yet another amazing individual award to his already sparkling football collection after winning the Ballon d'Or.

Lionel Messi Becomes First Footballer To Become Time's Athlete Of The Year
Image via Getty Images and TIME Magazine

Lionel Messi made history as the inaugural individual footballer named TIME Magazine’s ‘Athlete of the Year’. Fresh from securing his eighth Ballon d’Or, the Inter Miami player surpassed competitors like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to claim this prestigious recognition.

His impact extended to the United States, where he dazzled with 11 goals and five assists in 14 appearances for David Beckham’s team, leading them to victory in the Leagues Cup during his debut season. Adding to his illustrious career, the 36-year-old earned yet another individual accolade.

In a groundbreaking announcement, TIME Magazine crowned Messi as their 2023 Athlete of the Year, marking the magazine’s first-ever honour bestowed upon an individual soccer player.

Previously, the award recognized the US Women’s National Team in 2019 as the first soccer player to be honoured. Other individual recipients included LeBron James, Simone Biles, and Aaron Judge from basketball, gymnastics, and baseball respectively.

October saw Messi receiving the Ballon d’Or, presented to him by his new boss, David Beckham. Since joining the Floridian team, Beckham has continuously expressed delight after Messi chose his side over Saudi Arabia’s interest.

During the Paris ceremony where Beckham presented him with the award, Messi paid tribute to Maradona on his birthday, acknowledging the significance of the moment amidst fellow players and a soccer ball.

He humbly expressed gratitude for the accolades but emphasized the importance of teamwork, citing City’s collective success as paramount. Despite personal achievements, he remains determined to elevate Argentina’s performance, aspiring to secure victories in the Copa America and World Cup.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini

Forwarder, Midfielder


Age: 37

170 cm

72 kg

Season 2024
Played 10 6 Missed
Minutes 854 85.4 Avg
Goals 10 1.0 Avg
Assist 10 1.0 Avg
Attempt 34 3.4 Avg
Passes 459 45.975.5% AvgSucc
Yellow 0 0.0 Avg
Red 0 0.0 Avg

This season he played in total 6 times for 372 minutes for Major League Soccer.

Lionel Messi scored 1 goal for Inter Miami. He procured two assists. He received no yellow cards and no red cards.

His team is currently 14th in Major League Soccer. In the last match Inter Miami lost 1-0 against Charlotte.

Inter Miami performance and stats

Inter Miami

Manager: Gerardo Martino
Rank 1st
Win 8
Draw 3
Loss 2
Goals 35-20
Diff 15

Inter Miami is currently 14th in the Major League Soccer with 34 points.

In the last 34 games, it has won 9 times, drawn 7 times, and lost 18 times. In its last match, Inter Miami lost 1-0 against Charlotte.​​

It has a negative goal difference after scoring 41 goals and conceding 54.​