Messi Beats Mbappe, Haaland to Win Eighth Ballon d’Or Award

Messi Beats Mbappe, Haaland to Win Eighth Ballon d’Or Award

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Argentina national football team captain Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy trophy of his career.

Messi has won a record-extending eighth award. The Inter Miami and Argentina striker, who played for Paris Saint-Germain last season, captained Argentina to the World Cup in Qatar last December, ending a 36-year wait for the South American country. Messi, 36, has won the award three times more than anyone else.

The 36-year-old scored twice in a blockbuster final against France in December which finished 3-3 after extra-time, scored in the penalty shoot-out and was named player of the match.
The title was presented to the 36-year-old Argentina star by former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba at the awards ceremony in Paris, France on Monday, October 30th, 2023.
Messi is the first player based in the USA ever to win a Ballon d’Or, although his 2023 award is based on his performances before to moved to Miami.

Messi – who had previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021 – now has three more Ballon d’Or titles than any other player in soccer history.

Just 10 men have won the Ballon d’Or more than once, while five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player other than Messi to have won it more than three times.
Messi’s main rival for the 2023 prize was Erling Haaland, who came second following a vote among 100 journalists – one from each of the top 100 FIFA-ranked nations.
French international and PSG’s striker Kylian Mbappe came third in the 2023 vote, ahead of Belgian and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri in fourth and five respectively.

Those journalists were asked to base their decision on the players’ performances and achievements between August 1 in 2022 and July 31 in 2023.

Haaland scored 55 goals in 55 games for Manchester City and Norway between those dates, firing his club to glory in the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

Messi’s club campaign was less spectacular than Haaland’s. He netted 21 goals in 41 games for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain during the 2022/23 campaign.

But Messi’s trump card was his stunning form at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar – a tournament for which Haaland’s Norway did not qualify.

Messi scored seven goals and provided three assists at Qatar 2022 en route to leading Argentina to a first World Cup title since 1978.

 Messi left PSG earlier this year before joining Inter Miami on a free transfer in July.

There were six Man City players included in the rankings with four of them, Haaland, Rodri (5th), Julien Alvarez (7th) Bernardo Silva (9th) making the top ten.

It was a big night for Man City, with the club also picking up the best team award, while Haaland claimed the Gerd Müller Trophy for the best striker, after his stunning 52-goal season, helping City win the Premier LeagueFA Cup and Champions League.

Brazilian and Real Madrid’s forward Vinicius Jr claimed sixth place behind Rodri in the top-10 and was also presented with the Socrates award earlier in the night, in recognition of the work he has done away from the football pitch in fighting against racism.

Napoli Star Victor Osimhen, who scored a whopping 31 goals in 39 games for the Serie A outfit, placed eighth in the rankings, one spot ahead of Bernardo Silva.

Real Madrid’s Luka Modric claimed the 10th spot in the rankings, with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah finishing 11th, narrowly missing out on the top-ten despite enjoying a stand-out 2022-23 season for Liverpool, scoring 30 goals in 51 games.

Several big names from the Premier League were also named in the top-30 players, with Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard placing at 24th and 28th in the standings respectively, while Manchester United’s Andre Onana, following on from his excellent performance against Man City on Sunday ranked 23rd.

Jude Bellingham, who masterminded Real Madrid’s 2-1 El Clasico win on Saturday, his first appearance in the derby, placed 18th in the standings, while also claiming the Kopa trophy for the best young player.

He also beat Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, who finished 19th in the standings, despite scoring 32 goals last season.

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