Giorgos Giakoumakis Triumphs Over Messi to Secure Prestigious MLS Award

Giorgos Giakoumakis, Lionel Messi

Giakoumakis, who joined the ranks of Celtic in February before transitioning to the Scottish giants, immediately left an indelible mark on the league in his debut season.

With an impressive record of 17 goals and three assists in 27 games, his consistent performances garnered votes from a broad spectrum of MLS stakeholders, including journalists, players, coaches, and technical staff.

Giakoumakis secured a remarkable 45.8 percent of the votes, surpassing his fellow finalists Messi (27.3 percent) and Eduard Lowen of St. Louis City SC (15.4 percent). Despite his significant reputation, Messi's time in MLS was regrettably marred by a leg injury sustained while representing Argentina on international duty in September. Consequently, he could only make appearances in six matches, accumulating a mere 372 minutes on the field.

During this limited playing time, he managed to score one goal and provide two assists for Miami. Unfortunately, Miami fell short of clinching a playoff spot, and Messi's contributions were unable to propel the team to postseason success. It's important to note that only MLS regular-season matches factored into the voting process, with performances in the Leagues Cup tournament deemed irrelevant.

It's undeniable that Messi's presence in MLS brought significant financial benefits. However, it was Giorgos Giakoumakis who truly stood out with his exceptional performances, ultimately earning him the well-deserved recognition from the voters.

Giakoumakis fully comprehends the significance of this award and expressed his utmost gratitude upon receiving it. "I'm really happy and satisfied for winning this trophy," he said. "It has different gravity when you win and you're competing against Messi. So I think the gravity of this prize is even bigger right now." This acknowledgment reflects both the exceptional talent and humble spirit that have endeared Giakoumakis to fans and colleagues alike

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