Messi wins TIME magazine’s 2023 Athlete of the Year: List of his other individual awards
The Inter Miami forward has won eight Ballon d’Or awards and now adds another gong to his bursting trophy collection.
Lionel Messi has been named TIME Athlete of the Year for 2023 for his incredible impact on soccer in the United States.
The Argentine moved to Inter Miami in July and transformed a team languished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. He immediately turned their fortunes around and led them to a Leagues Cup triumph, the first piece of silverware in franchise history.
But despite his influence on the field, it is Messi’s seismic impact on US soccer that sees him win the TIME award. He has brought the eyes of the world to MLS in a way that no player in the past was able to. With the nation set to host the 2024 Copa América and 2026 World Cup, Messi’s arrival in Miami could one day be viewed as the catalyst for a new era of American sport.
How many awards has Messi won?
During his time with Barcelona, Messi was named LaLiga Best Player on six occasions between 2008-09 and 2014-15. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (2013-14) and Antoine Griezmann (2015-16) managed to display Messi and win the Spanish league award. Rather bizarrely the LaLiga Awards, the first official awards in the history of the league, weren’t established until 2008-09 and were discontinued after the 2015-16 season.
Last month he picked up the eighth Ballon d’Or of his illustrious career, extending his record-breaking haul. Messi first won the coveted award in 2010, 13 years before his most recent triumph.
In addition to the Ballon d’Or the Argentine has won the FIFA World Player of the Year/The Best FIFA Men’s Player three times; the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award three times; and the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball twice. He has also bagged countless goalscoring awards in Spain, Europe and further afield.
Here’s the full list of Lionel Messi’s individual awards...
Messi missed out on MLS MVP
After nearly two decades at the top of the game, there are few prizes that Lionel Messi is yet to win. But after moving to MLS there are a whole host of new awards for the Argentine to target, including the illustrious MLS Landon Donovan MVP Award.
He may only have made his MLS debut in late August but Messi still found his way onto the shortlist for the 2023 league MVP award. The 2022 World Cup-winning captain scored 10 goals in his first seven matches for The Herons and led them to the Leagues Cup, but he was unable to replicate that form in MLS and Miami missed out on the post-season.
Not even the staunchest Messi fan could argue that he should have beaten Luciano Acosta to the 2023 Award. But expect Messi to be in the running from the very start when MLS return in February 2024.
If he can be the catalyst for a tilt an MLS Cup, Messi could soon possess an even longer list of individual awards.