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Lionel Messi Wins Eighth Ballon d’Or, First for an Active MLS Player

Lionel Messi wins eighth Ballon d’Or, the mythical footballer, executed yet another excellent milestone on Monday by means of securing his 8th Ballon d’Or award, a prestigious honor supplied to the sector’s nicest soccer gamers in the previous season. What makes this victory even more awesome is that Messi, who joined Inter Miami in July, now holds the difference of being the primary energetic Major League Soccer (MLS) participant to assert this illustrious person accolade. While his splendid goal-scoring skills contributed to Miami’s historical Leagues Cup win in August, it’s really worth noting that these feats passed off after the realization of the European club season, which now serves because the reference length for Ballon d’Or balloting (previously based totally on the calendar 12 months).

During the 2022-23 season at his former membership, Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine movie star introduced an incredible overall performance. However, it turned into Messi’s inspirational leadership that guided his home nation to a World Cup triumph in the ultimate year, arguably the thing that edged him beyond Erling Haaland for this year’s Ballon d’Or. Manchester City’s prolific scorer came in 2d, with Kylian Mbappé, Messi’s former PSG teammate, claiming the 1/3 spot, and Kevin De Bruyne, another standout from Manchester City, secured the fourth function.

In a ceremony held in Paris to commemorate the Ballon d’Or, organized through the French mag France Football, Messi expressed his gratitude in Spanish, declaring, “It’s a pride to be here once again to take pleasure in this moment, to have realized my dream of triumphing the World Cup.” The trophy changed into offered to him by none other than David Beckham, who, as the runner-up for the award in 1999, additionally happens to be a co-owner of Inter Miami.

At 36 years old, Lionel Messi is now the second one-oldest participant to claim the Ballon d’Or, with a dazzling general of 8 awards. His lengthy-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, now playing for the Saudi Arabian membership Al-Nassr, has clinched the award five instances. Following Messi and Ronaldo, the trio of Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten are tied at three wins every. This illustrious award, offered with the aid of France Football when you consider 1956, elevated its scope past European gamers in 1995, and in 2007, it has become including gamers of any starting place from golf equipment around the sector.

In addition to the men’s Ballon d’Or, this 12-month Ballon d’Or Féminin, a category brought in 2018 for recognizing the top girls’s participants, turned into an award to Aitana Bonmatí. The 25-12 months-antique midfielder from Barcelona performed a pivotal position in supporting Spain stable the World Cup in August, marking the 0.33 consecutive year that a Barcelona player has received this prestigious accolade, following the previous victories of Alexia Putellas in 2021 and 2022.

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It’s well worth noting that Messi’s first six Ballon d’Or awards (from 2009 to 2019) came all through his tenure with the Barcelona men’s team. In 2021, he clinched his 7th Ballon d’Or whilst playing for PSG. Nevertheless, because of a rather subpar debut season for the French powerhouse, Messi was excluded from the list of finalists for the Ballon d’Or in the previous year. He made an emphatic comeback in the next season with PSG but absolutely shone at some point in the World Cup, turning into the first player to attain in each round of the event, from the institution level to an enchanting two-aim overall performance within the final.

Reflecting on his terrific adventure, Messi conveyed, “Tonight I’m enjoying myself. It’s a pride to never depart me, and I desire if you want to enjoy it for many years to come back. Becoming an international champion became the title we were lacking. I’d want to thank all and sundry who helped make Argentina the sector champion crew.”

Erling Haaland also had a standout season, commonly at the membership stage, through playing a pivotal role in Manchester City’s fulfillment of a coveted treble: triumphs in the Champions League, English Premier League, and FA Cup. Along the way, the 23-yr-antique Norwegian striker made records by scoring a record-breaking 36 desires in 35 Premier League fits and an outstanding 52 dreams across all competitions.

During the previous season, Lionel Messi played an important component in supporting PSG’s stable Ligue 1 identity. His overall performance, which covered 16 desires and 16 assists in 32 domestic suits, caused him to be named the league’s high-quality overseas participant.

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