Lionel Messi Wins Record-Extending Eighth Ballon d'Or in Paris

#LionelMessi defeated #ErlingHaaland And #KylianMbappe to win Ballon d'Or for a record-extending eighth time.

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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time on Tuesday in Paris, edging Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe after leading Argentina to the World Cup last year.

Former Manchester United player and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham presented Messi his prize-signing Messi the award in Paris.

Messi, 36, becomes the first player from the Major League Soccer (MLS) to win the coveted trophy, but his success mainly comes due to his exploits in Qatar with his national team.

Following Argentina's victory over France in the World Cup final in Doha on penalties, former Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named the tournament's best player after scoring seven goals.

"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." Messi said after getting his award. 

"To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing. All of them [Ballon d'Or awards] are special for different reasons," he added.


Messi made a point of wishing Argentina's Diego Maradona a happy birthday during his acceptance speech. The 1986 World Cup champion, who died on November 22, 2020, would have been 63 years old on Monday.

"My last mention is for Diego [Maradona]," Messi said. 

"Today is his birthday. So I would like to remember him from here, surrounded by the best players, coaches and people who love football like he did,” he added.

"Wherever you are, Diego, happy birthday. This goes also to you."


Messi and his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo have won the prestigious award 13 times between them over the last 15 years.

Only two other players have won the Ballon d'Or since Ronaldo's first in 2008: Luka Modric in 2018 and Karim Benzema last year after a stellar season with Real Madrid.

Even before 2023's ceremony in Paris, no player had won the Ballon d'Or more than Messi, who won it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.


Earlier this year, Messi was named FIFA Men's Player of the Year, prevailing over Manchester City's Erling Haaland and and Kevin de Bruyne.


Norwegian forward Erling Haaland finished second with Manchester City after winning the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup, while Qatar World Cup golden boot winner Kylian Mbappe finished third.

In other awards, England's Jude Bellingham was named the best under-21 player, while Haaland won the prize for the best striker of the year. Messi's compatriot Emiliano Martinez won the Lev Yashin Award for best goalkeeper.

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Topics:  Lionel Messi   Ballon d’Or 

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