Lionel Messi’s Historic 8th Ballon d’Or Win

Lionel Messi's Historic 8th Ballon d'Or Win
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Lionel Messi of Inter Miami and Argentina earned a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or award on Monday in Paris.

The 36-year-old, who received the trophy from Herons co-owner David Beckham, adds the 2023 award to his prior awards from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021 after leading Argentina to their third World Cup win in Qatar.

With seven goals and three assists in the 2022 tournament, Messi won the Golden Ball for the second time, becoming the first player to do so. He also finished second in the Golden Boot race behind Kylian Mbappe.

Along with his long-awaited taste of World Cup stardom, the 36-year-old finished his second and final season with Paris Saint-Germain with 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 games, including a division-high 16 Ligue 1 assists on route to the Ligue 1 title.

Lionel Messi's Historic 8th Ballon d'Or Win

Messi was joined on the podium by Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, who finished second behind the former Barcelona player, and his ex-PSG colleague Mbappe, who finished third.

Prior to Messi’s ninth coronation, the Ballon d’or Feminin, presented by world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, was awarded to Barcelona Women’s and Spain Women’s Aitana Bonmati, who was a key member of La Roja’s World Cup-winning crop in 2023.

The 25-year-old midfielder scored three goals and provided two assists in seven World Cup appearances for Spain, earning the Golden Ball as the tournament’s finest performer, while also putting up impressive stats in her double-winning season with Barcelona.

Bonmati finished the 2022-23 La Liga season with nine goals and ten assists from 23 games, as well as five goals and eight assists in 11 Champions League appearances.

The Spaniard follows compatriot Alexia Putellas as the holder of the Ballon d’Or Feminin, with Chelsea’s Samantha Kerr coming in second and Bonmati’s Barcelona teammate Salma Paralluelo coming in third.

In other news, Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for the greatest Under-21 player for the first time, beating out Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala and Barcelona’s Pedri.

In the 2022-23 season, Bellingham led Dortmund’s Bundesliga title chase with eight goals and five assists in 31 games, but Edin Terzic’s team was defeated by Bayern Munich on goal difference.

In addition, the former Birmingham City teenager became the first English adolescent to score in four consecutive Champions League games, while also scoring once and assisting once during England’s journey to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Bellingham, who is also anticipated to win the Golden Boy in December, becomes the first English winner of the Kopa Trophy, two years after placing second to Pedri in 2021.

Argentina and Aston Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez, who won the Golden Glove during La Albiceleste’s run to 2022 World Cup victory, was awarded the Yashin Trophy for finest goalkeeper.

The former Arsenal goalkeeper, who was also voted The Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2022, made a critical last-minute save in the final to deny Randal Kolo Muani, before also stopping Kingsley Coman in the penalty shootout.

Martinez, the fourth recipient of the Yashin Trophy after Alisson, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Thibaut Courtois, preserved 13 clean sheets in 36 Premier League games for Aston Villa to help the Lions qualify for the Europa Conference League.

In other news, Manchester City was named men’s Club of the Year following their historic treble success in the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup, following in the footsteps of Manchester United’s 1998-99 squad, while Barcelona was named women’s Club of the Year.

Haaland was presented with the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker, having amassed an astonishing 68 goals in 54 games for club and country, while Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior was presented with the Socrates Award for his charity work with Vini Jr Institute – which uses technology to help educate Brazilian children from poor backgrounds – and his efforts in the fight against racism.

2023 BALLON D’OR RANKINGS IN FULL

Men’s Ballon d’Or

1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami/Paris Saint-Germain)

2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

3. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

4. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

5. Rodri (Manchester City)

6. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

7. Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)

8. Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

10. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Ballon d’Or Feminin

1. Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)

2. Samantha Kerr (Chelsea)

3. Salma Paralluelo (Barcelona)

4. Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona)

5. Mary Earps (Manchester United

6. Olga Carmona (Barcelona)

7. Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)

8. Patricia Guijarro (Barcelona)

9. Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid)

10. Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)

Kopa Trophy

1. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund/Real Madrid)

2. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

3. Pedri (Barcelona)

4. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)

5. Gavi (Barcelona)

6. Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven/Paris Saint-Germain/RB Leipzig)

7. Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)

8. Antonio Silva (Benfica)

9. Rasmus Hojlund (Atalanta BC/Manchester United)

9. Elye Wahi (Montpellier HSC/Lens)

Yashin Award

1. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

2. Ederson (Manchester City)

3. Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Al-Hilal)

4. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)

5. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

6. Andre Onana (Inter Milan/Manchester United)

7. Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb/Fenerbahce)

8. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

9. Mike Maignan (AC Milan)

10. Brice Samba (Lens)

Lionel Messi's Historic 8th Ballon d'Or Win

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