Pakyong, 31 October : Lionel Messi, the legendary Argentine footballer, won his record-breaking 8th Ballon d’Or title. He clinched this prestigious award after leading Argentina to victory in the FIFA World Cup 2022, despite an average season with Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi expressed his gratitude to his teammates, coach, and staff for his success and dedicated the win to the late Diego Maradona, another Argentine legend. Aitana Bonmati received the women’s award for her contributions to Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory and Barcelona’s successes.
Lionel Messi from @InterMiamiCF keeps extending his record with eight Ballon d’Or!
— Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 30, 2023
The Ballon d’Or criteria shifted to focus on seasonal performance, with Messi’s World Cup performance playing a significant role in his win. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times, and other football legends like Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, and Marco van Basten have won it three times each. Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe were contenders but missed out on the award due to Messi’s outstanding World Cup performance.
Jude Bellingham was named the best under-21 player, and Haaland received the Gerd Müller award for his goal-scoring abilities. Emiliano Martinez won the Lev Yashin award for the top goalkeeper, despite criticism for his post-World Cup celebrations. Vinicius Junior received the Socrates humanitarian award for his dedication to underprivileged children.