ballon d’or | who won the ballon d’or 2023 | ballon dor | ballon d’or ceremony | Why Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or | LIONEL MESSI WINS HIS 8TH BALLON D’OR | Messi Wins His 8th Ballon d’Or | Messi wins record eighth Ballon d’Or
In a groundbreaking moment, Lionel Messi, the star of Inter Miami CF, has secured his record-breaking eighth Ballon d’Or award, solidifying his place as one of the greatest footballers of all time. This extraordinary achievement comes on the heels of his pivotal role in leading Argentina to World Cup glory in the previous year. Let’s dive into the details of this remarkable milestone.
Messi’s Unprecedented Eighth Triumph
At the age of 36, Lionel Messi has achieved a feat unparalleled in the history of football by winning his eighth Ballon d’Or. Notably, he is the first MLS-based player to claim this coveted award, a testament to his extraordinary contribution to the sport and his ability to shine even in the United States.
Glory in Qatar
The primary catalyst behind Messi’s most recent Ballon d’Or win was his outstanding performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Leading the Argentine national team as their captain, Messi’s leadership and on-field brilliance played a pivotal role in Argentina ending their 36-year wait to be crowned world champions for the third time. Throughout the tournament, Messi scored seven goals and provided three crucial assists, earning him the Player of the Tournament title. His two goals in the final, including one in the penalty shootout against France, sealed Argentina’s victory in one of the most unforgettable World Cup finals in history.
Haaland’s Strong Competition
Erling Haaland, the prolific striker for Manchester City, secured the runner-up position in the Ballon d’Or voting. Haaland’s remarkable performance, where he scored an astonishing 52 goals in the 2022-23 season, played a pivotal role in helping Manchester City achieve a historic Treble. His incredible form earned him the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker of the year, a testament to his exceptional skills on the field.
Honors Keep Coming
Aside from the prestigious Ballon d’Or, the ceremony witnessed the presentation of other significant awards. Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez, a stellar goalkeeper, was honored with the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper. On the other hand, Jude Bellingham, a talented young midfielder from England and Real Madrid, was recognized with the Kopa Trophy as the world’s top player under the age of 21.
Messi’s Tribute to Maradona
During his acceptance speech, Messi took a moment to pay tribute to his fellow countryman, the legendary Diego Maradona, whose birthday it would have been on that day. Messi offered heartfelt words, acknowledging Maradona’s influence on the world of football and expressing his birthday wishes.
A Record-Breaking Career
Even before securing this eighth Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi’s footballing career was already one for the history books. Prior to this win, he had claimed the Ballon d’Or six times, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021. His rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, has been a defining feature of football over the past decade.
A Move to Inter Miami
After a storied career with Barcelona, where Messi became the club’s all-time leading goal scorer and appearance holder, he made a high-profile move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2021. There, he continued to shine by scoring 21 goals in 41 appearances, helping PSG retain the Ligue 1 title. Subsequently, Messi embarked on a new adventure with Inter Miami CF, where he has continued to dazzle fans by scoring 11 goals in just 14 games and assisting the team in clinching their first-ever silverware, the Leagues Cup.
A Remarkable Journey
Lionel Messi’s journey to securing his eighth Ballon d’Or is nothing short of remarkable. From his early days in Argentina to his illustrious career in Europe, he has consistently demonstrated his footballing genius. At 36 years and four months old, Messi is now the second oldest player to ever claim the Ballon d’Or, surpassing last year’s winner, Karim Benzema. Only the inaugural recipient, Stanley Matthews in 1956, was older when he won the award at the age of 41.
In summary, Lionel Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or is a testament to his enduring greatness and the indelible mark he has left on the world of football. His journey, from his homeland in Argentina to the grandest stages of European football, serves as an inspiration to aspiring footballers worldwide.