After 2021, Lionel Messi finally bags his 8th Ballon D’or.
Paris: It was as usual at the Ballon D’or Ceremony in Paris on Monday as one of all-time greats of the game, Lionel Messi scripted history by clinching a record 8th Ballon D’or at the Theatre Du Chatelet.
No player in the history has bagged as many titles as the Argentine captain. Only Cristiano Ronaldo is close to his rival with 5 awards.
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland finished 2nd followed by PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, who finished 3rd.
— Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 30, 2023
With this 8th title, Messi becomes the first Major League Soccer (MLS) player to win the prestigious award. He rounds off 2023 with three big awards apart from the Ballon D’or – FIFA The Best and the Laureus Award.
“This award comes hand in hand with what has been achieved with the Argentina team. This is a gift to the players, coaching staff and the all people in Argentina”, Messi told after winning.
A year after missing out on the shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, and despite leaving top-level European soccer behind, Messi has recovered his crown.
He won the sport’s biggest individual prize due to his tremendous World Cup. In Qatar, Messi was involved in 10 goals for Argentina, scoring seven and assisting three. He scored twice in the final against France.
His final season with PSG was less shiny. Although PSG won a record-extending 11th French league, it again exited the Champions League in the round of 16.
Since moving to Inter Miami in the United States, Messi has already picked up his first silverware there by inspiring the team to victory in the U.S. Leagues Cup.
Messi succeeded Karim Benzema.
Mbappe hoped another Frenchman could win the Ballon d’Or after he scored a hat trick in the World Cup final, though France lost in a penalty shootout.
Haaland led City to a treble of trophies last season — Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup — while scoring 52 goals.
(With Agency Inputs)