Paris, (FR): In a dazzling ceremony held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, football maestro Lionel Messi reaffirmed his status as an unrivalled legend by clinching his eighth Ballon d’Or award. At 36 years old, Messi’s victory serves as a testament to his enduring brilliance and unrivalled prowess on the pitch.
This historic win solidifies Messi’s unparalleled legacy, cementing his name in the annals of football history.
The Argentine wizard’s remarkable journey to the pinnacle of football excellence began in 2009 when he first laid claim to the prestigious Ballon d’Or. Since then, he has consistently demonstrated his unmatched skill and unrivalled dedication to the sport.
His awe-inspiring list of Ballon d’Or victories now stands at an astonishing eight, a feat no other player has come close to matching.
This year, Messi faced stiff competition from Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, who had a sensational season, clinching the treble with his club, including the coveted Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup titles.
Despite Haaland’s remarkable achievements, it was Messi’s extraordinary contributions that ultimately tipped the scales in his favor.
One of the defining moments of Messi’s year was his instrumental role in leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, a triumph that electrified fans worldwide.
In a heartfelt gesture, Messi dedicated his Ballon d’Or to the memory of the late Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, whose indelible influence on the sport continues to inspire generations.
This year’s Ballon d’Or selection process marked a departure from previous years, as the award now hinges on a player’s performance over the last season, rather than the calendar year.
This shift in criteria undoubtedly played to Messi’s advantage, allowing his stellar 2022-23 season to shine brightly.
With this eighth Ballon d’Or firmly in his grasp, Messi now stands three titles ahead of his perennial rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, reaffirming his place as the most decorated player in the award’s storied history.
“This is a gift to the whole Argentina team for what we achieved,” said Messi on stage after receiving his award from David Beckham, the co-owner of Inter Miami.
Messi dedicated the trophy to late Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who would have celebrated his 63rd birthday on Monday.
“Happy birthday Diego. This is for you too,” he said.
Meanwhile, Erling Haaland clinched the Gerd Müller Trophy for Best Striker of 2023, Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez won the Yachine Trophy for World’s Best Goalkeeper, Vinicius Júnior was honoured with the Socrates Award for Advocacy Against Racism and Education Initiatives, Jude Bellingham took home the Kopa Trophy as World’s Best Talent, and Aitana Bonmatí sealed the Women’s Ballon d’Or 2023 after her stellar performances for FC Barcelona and Spain.
The following is a list of all the winners at the 2023 Ballon d’Or awards
|Ballon d’Or 2023 complete winners list|
|A. Men’s Ballon d’Or – Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)|
B. Ballon d’Or Feminin – Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona Femení, Spain)
C. Kopa Trophy – for the best male U-21 player Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, England)
D. Yachine Trophy – for the best male goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa, Argentina)
E. Gerd Müller Trophy – for the highest-scoring male striker Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)
F. Socrates Award – to acknowledge humanitarian work Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil)
G. Club of the Year – Manchester City and FC Barcelona Femeni
As the football world continues to marvel at Messi’s unparalleled achievements, the question looms: will the ageless maestro once again find himself vying for this prestigious accolade in the years to come? Only time will tell.
|2023 Ballon d’Or rankings|
|1. Lionel Messi|
2. Erling Haaland
3. Kylian Mbappe
4. Kevin De Bruyne
6. Vinicius Junior
7. Julian Alvarez
8. Victor Osimhen
9. Bernardo Silva
10. Luka Modric
11. Mohamed Salah
12. Robert Lewandowski
13. Yassine Bono
14. Ilkay Gundogan
15. Emiliano Martinez
16. Karim Benzema
17. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
18. Jude Bellingham
19. Harry Kane
20. Lautaro Martinez
21. Antoine Griezmann
22. Kim Min-Jae
23. Andre Onana
24. Bukayo Saka
25. Josko Gvardiol
26. Jamal Musiala
27. Nicolo Barella
28. Randal Kolo Muani
29. Martin Odegaard
30. Ruben Dias
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