Last night in Paris, France, Lionel Messi, the Argentina World Cup-winning captain and forward for Inter Miami, secured his eighth Ballon d’Or, setting a new record.
Messi, who first claimed the prestigious award in 2009 and then again in 2021, orchestrated Argentina’s triumph in the 2022 World Cup.
He played a pivotal role in the final match, scoring twice in regular time and once during a decisive penalty shootout, guiding his team to victory over the 2018 champions, France.
Additionally, Messi showcased his brilliance in club football, netting 32 goals in 55 league appearances for PSG, aiding the team in securing the Ligue 1 title.
In the same glittering ceremony, 25-year-old Aitana Bonmati, the talented star from Spain and Barcelona, was honored with her inaugural Ballon d’Or Féminin award.
Bonmati’s exceptional performances contributed significantly to Barcelona’s successes, as she played a vital role in the team’s Champions League and Spanish title triumphs last season.
Furthermore, she played a key role in Spain’s World Cup victory, adding to her impressive list of achievements.
Barcelona was named Women’s Club of the Year as the Spanish outfit won the UEFA Champions League and Spanish title last season and they had six players on the Ballon d’Or Feminin shortlist.
Manchester City was honored with the Men Club of the Year award. This recognition followed their historic and record-breaking 2022/23 season, where under the guidance of manager Pep Guardiola, the team achieved an extraordinary Treble.
During the prestigious ceremony, several outstanding individuals were recognized for their exceptional contributions to football:
England and Real Madrid midfielder, Jude Bellingham, received the Kopa Trophy, acknowledging him as the best young player in the world.
The Socrates Prize, honoring the best social initiative, was awarded to Vinicius Jr for his efforts in supporting underprivileged Brazilian children.
But it was Norway’s international, Erling Haaland , that got the Gerd Muller Trophy for his prolific scoring form that saw him scored some 52 goals for Manchester City, who in the meantime was named the men’s club of the year after bagging the Treble last season.
The night also belonged to another Argentine, the former Oxford United loanee Emiliano Martinez who helped his country to clinch the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 won the Yashin Trophy for the best keeper in the world.
Meanwhile, Victor Osimhen made history as the first Napoli player to make the top 10 of the Ballon d’Or rankings as the Super Eagles forward finished 8th overall.