Giorgos Giakoumakis, forward for Atlanta United, surprised the soccer world by clinching the prestigious Rookie of the Year award in Major League Soccer (MLS), leaving behind renowned player Lionel Messi and the talented Eduard Lowen of CITY. His victory is a remarkable achievement for the club, making Atlanta United the first organization to win the award in consecutive years, with the previous FIFA World Cup winner Thiago Almada being recognized in 2022.
With an impressive season marked by 17 goals, Giakoumakis stood out in his debut in the MLS, leaving an indelible mark in his first season. His remarkable skill and consistent performance garnered votes from a wide range of voters, including accredited media, active players and coaches of the MLS, as well as technical and general managers.
The initial nomination of Lionel Messi as one of the finalists raised eyebrows, considering his limited participation in the regular season, with only six games played. Messi’s presence among the nominees prompted questioning among the voters, leading to heated debates on social media about the selection criteria.
While some argue that Messi, due to his greatness as a player, deserved a place among the finalists, the final decision to award Giakoumakis is a clear validation of the Greek striker’s exceptional performance throughout the season. His victory highlights not only his individual skills but also the significant impact he had on the performance of Atlanta United.
The club is now gearing up to bounce back after the recent defeat to the Columbus Crew and will face the challenge of reaffirming their presence on the field. With Giakoumakis leading the frontline, the team aims to recover and solidify their position in the MLS, relying on the determination and talent of the Greek forward to achieve new milestones in the season.