Football icon Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2023 Most Valuable Player (MVP) award by his new club Inter Miami, capping off a momentous first season in the MLS.
The announcement came via Inter Miami’s official website yesterday, just weeks after Messi led the club to victory in the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament. Despite falling short of the playoffs, Messi’s dominant performances earned him the MVP honor.
The 36-year-old Argentinian sensation joined Inter Miami in June after departing French side Paris Saint-Germain upon contract expiration. Messi made an immediate impact for the Florida-based club, racking up 11 goals and 8 assists across just 14 appearances in his debut MLS campaign.
Messi proved instrumental in Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup triumph, scoring in the final against Liga MX’s Pachuca. He formed a prolific partnership with fellow striker Gonzalo Higuaín that terrorized MLS defenses.
According to Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville, Messi fully deserved the MVP award for the manner in which he uplifted the entire club during his first few months.
“From the first day Leo arrived, he set the tone for this organization both on and off the field,” Neville stated. “He came here to win, be a leader, and leave a legacy in South Florida.”
Club co-owner Jorge Mas also sang Messi’s praises, saying he “transcended our wildest expectations because of his work ethic, desire to win and his simple love of the game.”
The MVP recognition caps a momentous past week for Messi after he was awarded a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or trophy on October 17th…
This achievement makes Messi the first player in Inter Miami’s brief history to receive MVP honors twice, having won previously in 2020. He follows in the footsteps of past winners Gonzalo Higuaín (2022) and Lewis Morgan (2021).
With the argentine maestro Messi leading the attack, Inter Miami will set their sights on qualifying for the MLS Cup playoffs next season and bringing the city its first major trophy.