Roger Federer has expressed his admiration for Lionel Messi after the Argentine footballer was included in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2023
Lionel Messi has made it onto TIME magazine’s prestigious annual list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2023, following his success in leading his team to World Cup victory and ending his career in football. In the announcement of the awards, Roger Federer, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, has written a tribute to Messi, likening his skills on the pitch to a work of art.
“Lionel Messi’s goal-scoring records and championship wins need no recounting here. What stands out to me about Messi, 35, is his consistent greatness over so many years. This is so difficult to achieve, and then maintain. He dribbles like a magician, and his angular passes are works of art. His awareness and anticipation are almost beyond comprehension,” Federer wrote.
“My career has just come to an end. I now realize how much weight we athletes carry. But in our daily lives, we don’t even realize it. For a football player like Messi, that weight likely feels more massive, as he represents both a world-renowned club and a very passionate country.
“Argentina’s World Cup victory was magnificent. Millions of fans’ taking to the streets of Buenos Aires to celebrate was an amazing moment in sports, witnessed around the world. Even those who don’t follow football must have realized the true impact of the world’s most popular game.
Federer reveals childhood idols
In addition, Federer expressed his desire for Messi to continue his football career for a while longer, as he penned the tribute to Messi, after announcing his own retirement from tennis in September 2022.
“Growing up, Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta were my favorite Argentine players. I was lucky enough to meet both of them. They inspired me. Now Messi can inspire future generations,” he added.
“I can only hope we get to see his unique creativity and artistry for a little bit longer. Don’t blink too often as Messi performs on the pitch. You may miss something incredible from the man of the moment.”
As Messi’s contract with PSG ends this season, there is uncertainty about his future. And rumors suggest that he might return to his former club, Barcelona. Meanwhile, he is set to play in PSG’s upcoming match against Lens in Ligue 1 on Saturday.