Each year TIME selects the 100 most influential people in the world, the personalities that make up his year’s TIME 100 are people that “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.” La Masia graduate and FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi made the list along with other athletes, like NBA star Jeremy Lin and the tennis player Novak Djokovic. There are no other footballers that feature in this year’s TIME 100.
Hamm: “Incredibly talented and humble”
The ex-player and now Barça ambassador Mia Hamm explained the reasons behind Messi’s selection. “He’s incredibly talented and humble,” writes Hamm. The two-time FIFA World Player described the day she met the Argentine star: “He was a bit shy — some of that can be attributed to the language barrier — but I was able to watch their training, and it was clear he was an incredible teammate.”
Hamm believes that Messi “certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time.” This isn’t the first time Messi has graced the pages of the magazine. In January, TIME’s cover featured the portrait of the FC Barcelona star with the title King Leo.