Lionel Messi Secures Eighth Ballon d’Or, Cements Status as Football Legend

Messi claims prestigious award at glitzy Paris ceremony, becoming the first non-European player to achieve this feat

Paris, France – October 30, 2023

In a historic moment at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday night, Lionel Messi clinched the coveted award for the eighth time, solidifying his status as the greatest footballer in history. The Argentine maestro, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in December, received the accolade at a glittering event attended by the crème de la crème of the football world.

The honor, presented by former PSG midfielder and England captain David Beckham, was bestowed upon Messi after a vote by 100 journalists hailing from the top 100 FIFA-ranked countries. His achievement marks a milestone as Messi, now playing for Inter Miami, becomes the first footballer based outside of Europe to claim the prestigious prize.

“I’m truly honored to be here once more to savor this moment,” Messi remarked, addressing the audience. “To win the World Cup and realize my dream is incredibly special.”

The ceremony was not just about Messi, as Barcelona’s Aitana Bonmati secured the women’s Ballon d’Or after her pivotal role in Spain’s World Cup triumph earlier in the summer.

Erling Haaland, the Norwegian sensation who scored an impressive 52 goals in all competitions last season, narrowly missed out on the top spot. Despite contributing significantly to Manchester City’s historic treble, he had to settle for second place in the rankings.

The event, hosted by former Chelsea star Didier Drogba, saw an engaging exchange where Drogba asked Messi if this Ballon d’Or held special significance due to his World Cup victory. Messi responded, “They’re all special.”

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Top 30 Men’s Ballon d’Or Rankings:

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Erling Haaland
  3. Kylian Mbappe
  4. Kevin De Bruyne
  5. Rodri
  6. Vinicius Jr
  7. Julian Alvarez
  8. Victor Osimhen
  9. Bernardo Silva
  10. Luka Modric
  11. Mohamed Salah
  12. Robert Lewandowski
  13. Yassine Bounou
  14. İlkay Gündoğan
  15. Emi Martinez
  16. Karim Benzema
  17. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
  18. Jude Bellingham
  19. Harry Kane
  20. Lautaro Martinez
  21. Antoine Griezmann
  22. Kim Min-jae
  23. André Onana
  24. Bukayo Saka
  25. Josko Gvardiol
  26. Jamal Musiala
  27. Nicolo Barella
  28. Randal Kolo Muani
  29. Martin Ødegaard
  30. Ruben Dias

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