Number eight for Lionel Messi! Inter Miami star beats Erling Haaland to 2023 Ballon d'Or after leading Argentina to World Cup glory



Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2023 by Goal.com

Number eight for Lionel Messi! Inter Miami star beats Erling Haaland to 2023 Ballon d'Or after leading Argentina to World Cup glory

Lionel Messi has won a record eighth Ballon d'Or, beating off competition from Manchester City sensation Erling Haaland for the 2023 award.

  • Messi honoured at glitzy ceremony in Paris
  • Bests competition from free-scoring Haaland
  • Argentine also edges out PSG's Mbappe

WHAT HAPPENED?
Messi was favourite to clinch the Golden Ball heading into the star-studded ceremony in Paris, and he was indeed handed the gong by footballing legend David Beckham on Monday night.

The 36-year-old came ahead of Manchester City's Erling Haaland in second and Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe in third, and City stars Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri came fourth and fifth respectively.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior was sixth, City's Julian Alvarez was seventh, Victor Osimhen was eighth, City's Bernardo Silva was ninth, and Madrid hero Luka Modric rounded off the top 10.

THE BIGGER PICTURE
It is the eighth time that Messi has been crowned the best men's player on the planet, with his performances during the 2022 World Cup going a long way to ensuring he claimed the individual silverware. The Argentina captain scored in every knockout-stage game en route to La Albiceleste finally ending their wait for a global trophy. At club level, Messi helped Paris Saint-Germain secure the Ligue 1 title, registering 16 goals and 16 assists.

After the Argentine, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is next with five Ballon d'Or wins but this was the first time since 2003 that he was not on the shortlist for the award.

DID YOU KNOW
This year's Ballon d'Or debate has been dominated by Messi and Haaland. The Norwegian scored a ridiculous 52 goals for Man City last season, playing a pivotal role as Pep Guardiola's side clinched a historic treble.

WHAT NEXT?
Messi is currently plying his trade for MLS side Inter Miami, but as they did not make the playoffs, he is enjoying some well-deserved time off. He should feature in Argentina's November games against Uruguay and Brazil, though.



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