After winning Leagues Cup 2023, Lionel Messi has added another individual trophy to his cabinet. Named the competition's top scorer, with ten goals, and best player, after leading Inter Miami CF to the title in August, the Argentine has won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time. At tonight's ceremony in Paris, the 2022 World Cup winner finished ahead of Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland.
Presented by the French sports daily l'Équipe, the Ballon d'Or is handed out yearly to the best player in men's football, as voted on by the coaches and captains of the world's national teams. Messi first won the award when playing for FC Barcelona in 2009, the first of four consecutive wins. He most recently won in 2021, while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, and with this win, now has three more award than Cristiano Ronaldo, his closest competitor.
The award was presented to Messi by Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham, who said of his player's win: "It’s very special to say he’s a Miami player and he’s in our city. He’ll celebrate this with his team-mates and his family in his way. We’ll do our best to celebrate it in the Miami way. I’m sure we can have a good party.”
Messi himself spoke about the meaning of extending his record, and what he's achieved this year: "I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had. Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing."
In 2024, Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami CF teammates, including Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will have the chance to compete for new titles, both in Major League Soccer, and in the Concacaf Champions Cup, having won a spot in the latter thanks to their Leagues Cup 2023 title.