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Lionel Messi officially an icon in American Sport

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Lionel Messi has achieved a number of incredible accomplishments in his relatively short career.

Messi is already Barcelona's top scorer of all time, a feat he achieved at the age of 24, he netted a record 92 goals for club and country in 2012, and he of course is also the holder of four Ballon d'Or awards, all of which were won consecutively, another record for the maestro.

He has now added to that list of fantastic accomplishments. 

In a vast poll ran by ESPN, (from October 2012-September 2013), Messi broke into the top ten list of America's favourite athletes, becoming the first footballer to do so.

Cristiano Ronaldo sits in 21st, whilst David Beckham is 49th. 

Seth Ader, ESPN's senior director of marketing, said: "It is a staggering statistic", and that "It is the first time in the history of this poll that a soccer player has shown up inside the top 10 for entire year."

Michael Jordan finished first, with Peyton Manning and Lebron James finishing second and third respectively.

Messi himself finished in a remarkable eighth, with only one Major League Baseball athlete finishing above him, Derek Jeter in seventh place. 

As Mr Eder also points out, Lionel Messi's worldwide stock looks set to rise all the more when he and his Argentinian colleagues set out to perform in Brazil's Fifa World Cup next summer.

If Messi and Argentina do well, as they are very much capable of doing, then Messi may rise even higher in next year's poll. 

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Lionel Messi

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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