Inter Miami Chief Business Officer Xavier Asensi was named the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year by Major League Soccer (MLS) on Monday. Asensi was instrumental in bringing Lionel Messi to the South Florida club.
After ten years as an executive with Spanish team Barcelona, Asensi joined Miami in 2021, and Messi dubbed it a “historic moment” for football in the United States, both on the sporting and business fronts.
“Asensi played a significant role in bringing global superstar Lionel Messi to Inter Miami CF, and effectively managed all areas of the club’s business operations as it achieved significant growth in revenue and engagement across its digital content,” the Major League Soccer (MLS) said in a press release.
Messi, a World Cup champion and eight-time Ballon d’Or winner as the best player in the world, arrived in Miami in July and made an immediate impact on and off the pitch.
The Argentine attacker scored a stoppage-time winner in his MLS debut and went on to score 11 goals in 14 games for the club, guiding them to their first-ever trophy by winning the Leagues Cup final.
Messi’s presence has also been attributed to an increase in ticket pricing, merchandise, and subscriptions to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, which streams live games. Miami has also stated that season tickets for the 2024 season are already sold out.
The trophy is named after former Los Angeles Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton, who passed away in 2010. From 2003 to 2005, Hamilton was named Executive of the Year three times in a row.