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Lionel Messi Named Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year

From LeBron James to Simone Biles, several sports titans have won Time's “Athlete of the Year” title and Lionel Messi is the next one in line! The Argentine football legend is the first athlete outside the US to be honored by Time after joining the American team Inter Miami. Time explained they’ve chosen to honor Messi this year because he “managed to do what once seemed impossible, when he signed with Inter Miami: turning the US into a soccer country.” He popularized the beautiful game in the US after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, and many A-list stars showed up to watch him play, including Selena Gomez and Leonardo DiCaprio. Messi admitted that playing in Miami wasn’t always his first option, but he made the decision to move there after weighing all the options with his family. “My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible… 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,” said Messi. In addition to helping Inter Miami win their first Leagues Cup title, Messi reached his 100th international goal this year and won his record eighth Ballon d'Or.