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  5. Lionel Messi edges Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe out to win record 8th Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi edges Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe out to win record 8th Ballon d'Or

Argentina legend Lionel Messi pipped Manchester City star Erling Haaland and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe to grab his historic eighth Ballon d'Or. Messi, who had a terrific season starting with leading Argentina to FIFA World Cup win and then a Ligue 1 win with PSG, heaped praise on Haaland and Mbappe.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: October 31, 2023 8:21 IST
Lionel Messi with his record-extending Ballon d'Or award at
Image Source : AP Lionel Messi with his record-extending Ballon d'Or award at a flashy ceremony in Paris, France

Argentina legend Lionel Messi pipped the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to a record 8th Ballon d'Or title at a grand ceremony in Paris, France. Messi, who previously won the Ballon d'Or title in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021 has had a season to remember where he led Argentina to a third FIFA World Cup title in Qatar, followed by a Ligue 1 title for Paris Saint-Germain and now a Leagues Cup win with his new Inter Miami club in Major League Soccer. Messi appeared in 55 matches across competitions this season and scored 32 goals, along with 25 assists.

The Golden Ball winner of the World Cup, Messi scored seven goals and was the player of the final as well. The extraordinary run in the World Cup saw Messi become the first player to score a goal in the group stage, Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. 

Haaland, who played a starring role in Manchester City's treble-clinching run, scored 52 goals with nine assists in 53 matches while Mbappe scored 41 goals with 10 assists in 43 matches.

Most Ballon d'Or wins 

8 - Lionel Messi, Argentina (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2023)

5 - Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
3 - Michael Platini, France (1983, 1984, 1985)
3 - Johan Cruyff, Netherlands (1971, 1973, 1974)
3 - Marco van Basten, Netherlands (1988, 1989, 1992)

25-year-old Spanish footballer Aitana Bonmati clinched the women’s Ballon d’Or as she edged out Sam Kerr and Salma Parralluelo for the title. Bonmati won the Women's World Cup 2023 while also winning the best pl;layer in the tournament award, the Golden Ball apart from winning a La Liga title with Barcelona last season and the Women’s Champions League.

Among other winners, Manchester City won the Men's Club of the Year for a second time in a row while FC Barcelona Femina won the Women's Club of the Year award. Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for the best Under-21 player. Haaland won the Gerd Muller Trophy for scoring the most number of goals for scoring 56 goals across all competitions. Argentina's Emiliano Martinez won the Yachine Trophy for the best goalkeeper.

Speaking after winning his 8th Ballon d'Or, Messi said, "The level [of competition] never decreases, I have been lucky to be here for many years. I want to provide a special mention for all those people who were happy that Argentina became world champions. Thanks also to all my family, my wife, my children, for being there in the worst moments, and they have helped me fulfill my dreams in football. Without you it would not have been possible.

"I have been very lucky, I have played for the best team in the world, the best in history, I have been able to win many individual awards thanks to that. With Argentina I have had very bad times, but I never gave up on winning the Copa America and World Cup, and that's why I'm proud of not having given up," he added. Messi also praised both Haaland and Mbappe, finished second and third in the race for the title.

 

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