(CTN News) – Lionel Messi, the Argentinian forward for Inter Miami, has been awarded the Men’s Ballon d’Or for an astonishing eighth time. The 36-year-old was honored at the ceremony in Paris in recognition of his role in helping Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar the previous year.
England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham received the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best player under 21 years old.
Lionel Messi moves further out in front of the rest
Lionel Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or title places him even further ahead of any other player in history. He clinched this prestigious award ahead of Manchester City’s forward, Erling Haaland, who had an exceptional season with 36 league goals and 52 goals in all competitions, contributing to City’s Treble of the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup victories. Haaland was also honored with the Gerd Muller Trophy for being the best goalscorer.
Kylian Mbappe, the French forward who scored a World Cup final hat-trick, finished third in the Ballon d’Or rankings. Lionel Messi expressed his gratitude and shared his dreams, stating, “It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream.”
He went on to reflect on his illustrious career, mentioning, “I couldn’t imagine having the career I’ve had and everything I’ve achieved, the fortune I’ve had to be part of the best team in history. All of them [Ballon d’Or awards] are special for different reasons.”
Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon d’Or five times, was not shortlisted for the award this year, marking the first time he was excluded from the list since 2003.
Meanwhile, Emiliano Martinez, the Argentine World Cup-winning goalkeeper from Aston Villa, was awarded the Yashin Trophy for the world’s best goalkeeper. Despite his achievements, Martinez faced criticism for his celebration after winning the World Cup against France.
Manchester City, after securing the Treble of the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup, was named the Club of the Year for the second consecutive year. Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr was presented with the Socrates Award for his contributions off the field, particularly in the fight against racism in football.
David Beckham, the former England and Manchester United midfielder, paid tribute to the late Sir Bobby Charlton, who passed away recently.
Beckham highlighted Sir Bobby’s significant impact on football and how he played a pivotal role in his career, expressing deep gratitude for the support and inspiration he received from the legendary figure.
Ballon d’Or top 10
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina and PSG/Inter Miami)
2. Erling Haaland (Norway and Manchester City)
3. Kylian Mbappe (France and PSG)
4. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium and Manchester City)
5. Rodri (Spain and Manchester City)
6. Vinicius Jr (Brazil and Real Madrid)
7. Julian Alvarez (Argentina and Manchester City)
8. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and Napoli)
9. Bernardo Silva (Portugal and Manchester City)
10. Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)