Messi’s 2023 Triumphs: Sportsman of the Year and MLS Move Explained

Uncover the reasons behind Lionel Messi's Athlete of the Year 2023 title from Time Magazine. Explore his incredible football journey, World Cup victory, and decision to join MLS, explained in easy terms.

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, has been honored as Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2023. This recognition follows his remarkable achievements, including winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or for an unprecedented eighth time.

The Argentine superstar played a pivotal role in leading his national team to victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where they triumphed over France in the final. Messi’s stellar performance earned him the title of the tournament’s Best Player and the second-highest goal scorer.

Despite his World Cup success, Messi faced challenges during his stint with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and eventually left the club as a free agent in the summer transfer window. His time at PSG fell short of expectations, and he faced criticism from fans.

Initially expected to return to Barcelona, his former club, Messi encountered financial constraints that prevented a reunion. Subsequently, he turned down offers from the Saudi Pro League and opted to join Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami, co-owned by former player David Beckham.

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

Reflecting on his choices, Messi revealed that his first preference was to return to Barcelona, but it proved unfeasible. He also considered the Saudi Pro League due to its growing prominence but ultimately chose MLS and Inter Miami. Messi emphasized the appeal of joining a league that showed promise and the allure of being a tourism ambassador for the United States.

However, many fans say that the Ballon d’Or Award has been robbed by Erling Haaland, who won everything and broke every record as a striker and club player except not winning the World Cup.

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