As the first male soccer player to win TIME’s Athlete of the Year award, Lionel Messi has created history.


Since 1927, TIME Magazine has given out the Person of the Year award every year. Notable past recipients of the honour include Mark Zuckerberg, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Pope John XXIII, Barack Obama, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


However, the publication’s award for Athlete of the Year has only been in existence since 2019.


The USWNT won it for the first time as a team not long after players like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan had helped their country win a record-breaking fourth Women’s World Cup.


Nearly a year has passed since Messi led Argentina to victory in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar.


Despite only having played in 14 games for Miami, Messi has already scored 11 goals and provided five assists. He has also helped the team win its first-ever trophy by turning in numerous spectacular performances during the club’s victorious 2023 Leagues Cup campaign.

Messi was named the finest male player in world soccer for a record-breaking eighth time, and as a result, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or in October.


Safe to say that this legend is no stranger to prestigious awards and will continue to make history.