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Lionel Messi claims prestigious award that Cristiano Ronaldo has never won

Josh Lawless

Published 
| Last updated 

Lionel Messi claims prestigious award that Cristiano Ronaldo has never won

Lionel Messi has claimed a prestigious award which Cristiano Ronaldo has never won.

Messi is now three Ballon d'Ors ahead of Ronaldo after making it eight wins when it comes to the France Football prize.

And the 36-year-old has made further history after being named the TIME athlete of the Year for the 2023.

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The outlet are renowned for the Person of the Year, with previous winners including figures like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King Jr.

It was only in 2019 when TIME came up with the idea of honouring the best in sport, first giving recognition to the United States Women's National Team after they won the World Cup.

Since then, LeBron James, Simone Biles and Aaron Judge have all been named Time Athlete of the Year.

But Messi is the latest to have the honour bestowed upon on him following his sensational switch to Inter Miami.

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Image: TIME
Image: TIME

He scored 11 times in 14 games, almost single-handedly winning Gerardo Martino's side their first ever trophy when they claimed the Leagues Cup on penalties.

Yet Messi's acknowledgement primarily comes as a result of the buzz he created across the pond.

The 36-year-old had celebrities galore in attendance at the DRV PNK Stadium, with tickets selling for a lot more than face value.

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Messi's impact was nothing short of transformative. Subscriptions to the MLS Season Pass went through the roof and reportedly brought in 110,000 new members from the US.

Shirt sales also experienced unprecedented demand and Adidas had to sort orders out much quicker than usual.

Messi, who also has the option for a stake in his own franchise, ensured his two-and-a-half year deal saw him take a percentage of the money made in both departments.

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The World Cup winner was immortalised in a special portrait cover for the TIME release, as well as taking part in an in-depth interview with the magazine.

In the chat, he revealed that he had a number of offers on the table, including both Barcelona and a mega-proposal from Saudi Arabia - following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty
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He admitted: "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.

"My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible. I tried to return, and it did not happen.

“It is also true that later I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league, where I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future.

“As the country’s tourism ambassador, it was a destination that attracted me, especially because I’ve enjoyed everything I have visited, because of how football is growing in the country and because of the effort they are putting into creating a top competition.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Inter Miami

Josh Lawless
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