Lionel Messi won his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or on Tuesday in Paris. Messi, who won the FIFA World Cup 2022 last year, beat the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to win the golden ball for the eight-time which is three more than the second most Cristiano Ronaldo – 5.
The Argentine got the award from football icon David Beckham who is also his current club – Inter Miami’s owner. Messi also received a standing ovation from everyone present at the mega ceremony in Paris.
Messi, 36, succeeds Karim Benzema as winner of the prize awarded for his performances last season.
Messi had an incredible World Cup last year where he carried Argentina on his shoulders and helped them win the coveted trophy for the third time. The 35-year-old scored a brace in the final against France which went to the penalty shootout where he also converted a goal from the spot.
The prestigious award has been dominated over the last 15 years by Messi and his old adversary Cristiano Ronaldo, who have won it 13 times between them.
Only two other players have won the Ballon d’Or since Ronaldo claimed his first in 2008 — Luka Modric won it in 2018 and Karim Benzema was crowned last year following a brilliant season with Real Madrid.
He was awarded Golden Ball for being the best player in the World Cup where he netted 7 goals.
Earlier, in the year, Messi won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award beating Halland and Kevin de Bruyne.
Messi benefited from a recent change which means the award is now based on a player’s record over the last season, rather than over the course of the calendar year.
The 35-year-old also won the Ligue 1 title with his former club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last season. However, he left the club this season to join Inter Miami where he won the League Cup which was the first-ever trophy in the club’s history,
Messi achieved several firsts by winning his eighth Ballon d’Or and also became the first MLS player to win the prestigious trophy. Meanwhile, he is the first player to win the Golden Balls in three different decades.
Meanwhile, Erling Haaland finished second in the race followed by Messi’s former teammate Kylian Mbappe.