Lionel Messi Secures His Eighth Ballon d’Or
Lionel Messi added another Ballon d’Or to his impressive collection, winning the prestigious award for the eighth time during the 2023 ceremony in Paris.
This achievement comes on the heels of his exceptional performance in leading Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar.
Messi’s Remarkable Achievements
Before making a move to Inter Miami, Messi played a pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph, notably scoring two crucial goals in the final match.
Additionally, his penalty shootout performance contributed to Argentina’s win over 2018 champions, France.
During his time at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Messi showcased his goal-scoring prowess, netting 32 goals in 55 appearances and helping PSG secure the Ligue 1 title.
David Beckham Presents the Award
David Beckham, co-owner of Inter Miami, had the honor of presenting Messi with the coveted Ballon d’Or.
The moment was met with a standing ovation from the audience.
Messi expressed his gratitude and excitement for the win, describing it as a dream come true.
When asked if this Ballon d’Or was more special due to the World Cup victory, Messi humbly responded that all his Ballon d’Or awards hold a special place in his heart.
Recognition of Outstanding Achievements
The 2023 Ballon d’Or rankings featured Messi as the winner, followed by Erling Haaland in second place and Kylian Mbappe in third.
Kevin De Bruyne claimed the fourth spot, with Rodri in fifth.
The rankings included several Man City players, showcasing the team’s dominance, and the club was also honored with the Best Team Award.
Aitana Bonmati Wins Women’s Ballon d’Or
In the women’s category, Aitana Bonmati was awarded the Ballon d’Or. Her exceptional performances played a pivotal role in Spain’s World Cup victory.
Bonmati expressed her pride in winning the award, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and being a role model both on and off the pitch.
Erling Haaland Receives the Gerd Muller Trophy
Despite coming second in the Ballon d’Or rankings, Erling Haaland received the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker.
Haaland attributed his success to the support of his teammates and his club’s environment.
Remarkable Achievements Across the Rankings
The rankings featured an array of talented players from different clubs and leagues, with outstanding performances recognized.
The Premier League was well represented, with players like Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard making the list.
Notable players such as Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham also received recognition for their contributions.
Emiliano Martinez’s Yashin Award
Emiliano Martinez, an Aston Villa goalkeeper, was ranked 15th in the Ballon d’Or standings.
However, controversy arose when he received the Yashin award, as some fans inside the auditorium booed his recognition.
This prompted an intervention by Didier Drogba, who called for respect from the audience.
A Night Celebrating Football Excellence
The Ballon d’Or ceremony celebrated the incredible talent and achievements of footballers worldwide, making it a memorable night for players, fans, and the entire football community.