New York, Dec 5 (EFE).- Argentine footballer Lionel Messi has been crowned once again, as Time’s Athlete of the Year for 2023 by Time magazine.
“Messi managed to do what once seemed impossible: turning the US into a soccer country,” says the magazine.
Time’s article is illustrated with several photos of the star in the pink Inter Miami jersey (none with Argentina´s national team shirt) the club he joined in July.
“Messi has given soccer an unprecedented boost in the US: stadium attendance, prices, merchandising sales and viewing: his games strike a religious chord,” writes Time.
“This man is a culture shifter. He’s a GOAT,” says Fat Joe to Time Magazine. Time goes so far as to say that Messi has made the United States “a fútbol nation,” writing it in Spanish in addition to the English word “soccer.”
In terms of economic impact, on the day of his debut at Inter, Apple TV added 110,000 new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass in just 24 hours, according to Antenna, an unprecedented number.
Attendance at Inter’s Miami stadium has risen by 40% since Messi’s arrival and now averages 30,000 per game, although a total of 61,124 attended a match last October.
Other clubs in the same sport are feeling the effects of Messi’s popularity: “We are having conversations with people that would not even be remotely possible five years ago,” Dallas club president Dan Hunt told Time. EFE