Ballon d'OrBallon d'Or

Inter Miami CF star Lionel Messi has won his eighth Ballon d’Or and defeated Manchester City’s striker, Erling Haaland, bringing Argentina to victory in the World Cup last year. Messi, 36, becomes the first MLS-based player to claim the prestigious award, and this achievement is largely due to his accomplishments with his country, Argentina.

Former Manchester United player and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham presented Messi with his award in Paris. Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season as City clinched the treble in 2022–23, finished second in the voting, and the Golden Shoe winner went to Robert Lewandowski. After receiving the “Socrates Award,” Messi said, “I couldn’t even imagine this in my career. It’s a privilege to play for the best team in the world—the best team in history.

From Individual Glory to International Triumph: Messi’s Perspective Winning individual

Trophies like the Socrates Award make me happy.” “Winning the Copa America and then the World Cup, it’s amazing to achieve. All these [Ballon d’Or and Socrates Awards] are due to different reasons.” Before Messi received the award, Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmatí won the Ballon d’Or Féminin for the club’s and country’s record-breaking year. She helped Barcelona win La Liga and the Champions League last season before leading Spain to World Cup honors in the summer.

Honoring Legends And Rising Stars: Awards, Tributes, And Messi’s Touching Words

Honoring Legends And Rising Stars: Awards, Tributes, And Messi’s Touching Words

In other awards presented on Monday, Messi’s Argentine teammate Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper, and England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham was awarded The prestigious Kopa Trophy, awarded to the finest player under the age of 21, the Kopa Trophy for the best player under 21.

During his acceptance speech, Messi also mentioned Diego Maradona, his fellow countryman and the World Cup winner, who passed away on November 22, 2020, at the age of 63. Lastly, Messi said, “I want to pay tribute to the great Diego Maradona“Today is his birthday.  “Wherever you are, Diego, happy birthday. This is for you, in honor of your legacy and the Socrates Award you have inspired.”

Unprecedented Records And Messi’s Stunning Season: A Journey To The Eighth Ballon d’Or

Before the ceremony in Paris, no player had won the Ballon d’Or more times than Messi, who first won it in 2009 and then in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021. Cristiano Ronaldo has won it five times, while Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, and Marco van Basten have all won it three times.

Messi had an incredible season, scoring 21 goals in 41 matches. This feat came as he joined Inter Miami CF before the start of this year after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, who retained their Ligue 1 title. Since his move to the United States, he’s been a prolific scorer for Miami, netting 11 goals in 14 games, helping the franchise secure its first piece of silverware, the Supporters’ Shield, in their quest for the league title.

However, he missed several matches due to an injury towards the end of the regular MLS season as Inter Miami struggled to progress in the playoffs under the late push by manager Gerard “Tata” Martino. But it’s Messi’s performance in the 2022 World Cup that led him to claim his eighth Ballon d’Or. Argentina ending their 36-year wait to become world champions played a vital role.

Messi, as the captain in Qatar, played a crucial role in Argentina’s success, scoring seven goals and providing three assists, earning him the title of the tournament’s best player. He scored twice in the final and in the penalty shootout against France, helping Argentina win a memorable showdown. After brief encounters in the previous four World Cups, including a loss in the 2014 final to Germany, many considered this his last chance to lift football’s most coveted prize.

Age Is Just A Number: Messi’s Historic Eighth Ballon D’Or Win

At the age of 36 years and four months, he replaced last year’s winner, Karim Benzema, and became the second-oldest player to win the Ballon d’Or. Only Stanley Matthews in 1956 was older when he achieved this feat at the age of 41. Messi previously won his first six Ballon d’Or trophies during his time at Barcelona, where he’s the club’s all-time top scorer and holds a host of records. After Argentina’s Copa America success in 2021, he secured his seventh Ballon d’Or shortly after joining PSG.

 Sports Info:  The Seattle Seahawks

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