The best of sport in 2023: wins, records and highlights

Lionel Messi, Shohei Ohtani, Acuña Jr., Novak Djokovic and Max Verstappen, among others, were the protagonists who broke records in an electrifying sporting 2023 that fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, the past year served to consolidate Miami and South Florida in general as the most important and active sports center in the world. Unlike Saudi Arabia, which established a $650 billion fund to program sports activities that serve its geopolitical interests, Miami’s case arises naturally and has been built over the years.

Thus, in Miami in 2023, Messi arrived with his magic wand, catapulted the MLS, attracted global attention to Inter Miami and gave the rosanegros their first title and their first qualification to an international tournament, the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

For their part, the Russian Daniil Medvedev and the Czech Petra Kvitová won the Miami Open; Verstappen took over the Miami Grand Prix; The Capital of the Sun hosted the draw for the Copa América USA 2024, with the presence of FIFA president Gianni Infantino. The world’s oldest national team tournament is projected to generate $2 billion and generate more than 70,000 jobs in the United States.

In Aventura, Miami, it was the award ceremony for the Santiago 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games, which were won in a brilliant performance by the United States.

Also in South Florida, a fight took place again with the world boxing belt at stake. The Mexican Rafael “El Divino” Espinoza defeated the Cuban Robeisy Ramírez by majority decision in one of the best fights of the year.

In addition, FIFA opened an office in Coral Gables and moved 100 officials from its offices in Zurich to handle all preparations for the 2025 Club World Cup and the 2026 National Team World Cup.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) opened offices in Wynwood in its desire to expand and take advantage of the world title that the albiceleste achieved in Qatar 2022 after 36 years.

Likewise, the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) plans to open an office in Miami to expand its interests in the region.

Messi won his eighth Ballon d’Or and celebrated with Inter Miami in a match against New York City FC in Fort Lauderdale.

The soccer federations of the United States and Mexico joined together to request the venue of the 2023 women’s World Cup.

FIFA will respond to this joint request in May 2024. If achieved, the United States will capture global attention in four consecutive summers with the Copa América, the 2025 Club World Cup, the 2026 World Cup and the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

The South American World Cup qualifiers started and Argentina took first place. The big surprises were Venezuela’s fourth place and Brazil’s sixth place. Six teams will qualify directly and the seventh will go to a playoff.

For the first time, the Spanish women’s team won the World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand after beating England 1-0. That feat was unfortunately less commented on than the controversy caused by the kiss of the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales to the Iberian forward Jenni Hermoso during the award ceremony. Rubianes was removed from his position and suspended by FIFA.

Mexico became champion of the 2023 Gold Cup by beating Panama 1-0.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City won the European Champions League for the first time in its history by defeating Inter Milan, and in South America, Brazil’s Fluminense won its first Copa Libertadores by beating Boca Juniors at the Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro .

Inter Miami with an exceptional Messi reached the newly created League’s Cup, in the first title achieved by the Surflorida club that debuted in 2020. The Houston Dynamo took over the US Open for the Lamar Hunt Cup and the Columbus Crew achieved its third crown of the MLS.

In baseball, for the first time in their history the Texas Rangers won the World Series. They had reached the final twice, but could not win it. Manager Bruce Bochy, who had won it three times with the San Francisco Giants, had to take over the reins of the franchise. Now there are only five teams out of the 30 in the Major Leagues that have never won the October Classic.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. became the first player in history to hit more than 40 home runs and steal more than 70 bases in the same season. Thanks to his great performances, he was chosen MVP of the National League.

On Friday, December 9, Japanese Shohei Ohtani signed perhaps the largest financial agreement in sports history: $700 million for ten years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The interesting thing is that Ohtani will only receive an annual salary of 2 million, because his goal is to win the World Series and to do so he must give flexibility to his franchise so that his team can be reinforced without having problems with the salary cap. . You will receive the rest after 10 years of the agreement.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who on December 30, 2022 signed a contract for $200 million annually with the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr until June 2025, exceeds the annual figure that Ohtani will earn.

The Serbian Djokovic won the tournaments in Australia, France and the United States to become the greatest winner in the history of tennis with 24 Grand Slam tournaments.

Max Verstappen was not only crowned triple Formula 1 world champion, but also set a new record with 19 races won in the season.

LeBron James and the Lakers became the first NBA Cup champions.

The Kansas City Chiefs took over the Super Bowl after beating the Philadelphia Eagles.

In athletics, Venezuelan Julimar Rojas was chosen as the best field athlete.

Great sports year in 2023, which at least served to alleviate all the bad news that this year produced.