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Lionel Messi Wins His Eight Ballon d’Or

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Argentina forward and Inter Miami midfielder Lionel Andreas Messi was crowned the Ballon d’Or winner for a record-extending eight times.

Messi led Argentina to World Cup victory last year, lifting the trophy for the first time and winning the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player in Qatar.

The 36-year-old reclaimed the Ballon d’Or from Karim Benzema of France, adding to his previous victories in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.

The triumph for the former Barcelona forward extends his lead over five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

For the first time since 2003, the 38-year-old Portugal international, who plays for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, did not make the cut.

Messi left European football at the end of last season, joining MLS team Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the Ligue 1 title in both seasons.

Messi was presented with the award by David Beckham, owner of Inter Miami and runner-up in the 1999 Ballon d’Or, and the Argentine stated it would be his final Ballon d’Or victory.

He said: “I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had.

“Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing. Being world champion was fantastic. But the truth is I’ve never really got used to receiving awards and being on the stage like this.

“Slowly I have got used to it a bit more since winning it for the first time in 2009. I think today is the last time I will win it, so it feels calmer and I will enjoy it in a different way. I’m proud of the career I’ve had. I’ve enjoyed football all my life and soon I’ll enjoy it from the other side.” Added the Argentine. 


Messi won the 2023 Ballon d’Or in Paris ahead of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season to help City win the treble, and PSG and France forward Kylian Mbappe, who became only the second man to score a World Cup hat-trick, who finished third.

Haaland did not leave the Ballon d’Or ceremony empty-handed after winning the Gerd Muller Trophy for his record-breaking goal haul last season.

Also Read: Inside Lionel Messi’s Incredible Car Collection

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