Lionel Messi, the Argentine maestro, was awarded the Ballon d’Or 2023, reclaiming the golden trophy after last winning it in 2021. He received the award on Monday in Paris, where he played for PSG before moving to MLS outfit Inter Miami.
Messi defeated Manchester City star striker Erling Haaland in the race to secure the 8th Golden Ball of his career, the most by any player. The 2022 world champion dedicated his Ballon d’Or as a tribute to the legend Diego Maradona on his birthday.
David Beckham presents Lionel Messi with his eighth Ballon d’Or
Lionel Messi was the leading contender for this year’s Ballon d’Or, ahead of Manchester City’s treble-winning striker Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who finished in the 2nd and 3rd place rankings for the award.
The former Barcelona talisman had previously won the prestigious award presented by French football a record seven times while playing for the Spanish giants. He has now extended his tally to eight titles after winning it on Monday evening.
The 36-year-old’s heroism during the memorable Qatar World Cup campaign in 2022 and his phenomenal performance at the French club PSG gave him the advantage over Haaland to secure the Golden Ball award this year. He now has three more titles than the former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d’Or.
On a star-studded evening in the French capital, famous football stars and celebrities witnessed the ceremony. Messi attended the event along with his wife Antonella Rocuzzo and three kids to add another individual award to his collection, and the Ballon d’Or was presented to him by none other than the co-owner of his current MLS club, David Beckham.
Lionel Messi pays tribute to Diego Maradona after winning the Ballon D’Or
Lionel Messi is a hero in his home country, Argentina, due to the legacy and status he has built throughout his illustrious career. After winning a record eight Ballon d’Or Awards and being a World Cup winner, he paid a heartfelt homage to the legendary football icon, Diego Maradona, who passed away in 2020. Messi honored Maradona on the auspicious occasion of his 63rd birthday on October 30th.
Messi ended his winning speech after the Ballon d’Or ceremony by mentioning Diego Maradona and dedicated the title to him. He said, ‘Wherever you are, this is also for you. Happy birthday, Diego.’ Previously, he had dedicated the World Cup triumph to Maradona last year after bringing the world title to Argentina after three decades of waiting.
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