Argentina legend Lionel Messi has received a historic eighth Ballon d’Or award in Paris following his achievements with both club and country across the past season.
The 36-year-old – currently playing his football in Major League Soccer for Inter Miami – topped the glitzy ceremony in the French capital on Monday night by claiming his eighth triumph for the award handed out by France Football.
Defeating tough competition from the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, as well as former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi followed on from successes in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.
However, while debate over who should claim the award this week on social media may have ended upon the announcement made by David Beckham on the night, Lionel Messi was keen to recognise the tough competition he had to beat to claim the Ballon d’Or this year.
Speaking upon receiving the top individual prize in professional football on Monday night, Lionel Messi said, “As I said, he (Erling Haaland) deserved it (the 2023 Ballon d’Or award) very much too.”
The Argentine icon continued, “Erling has won the Premier League and Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. This award could have been yours today too, so I’m sure for the next years you will win it.”
Erling Haaland did not go home empty handed in Paris however, with the Manchester City and Norway striker earning himself the Gerd Muller Trophy following an outstanding haul of 56 goals in 57 games last season.
Haaland, alongside his Manchester City teammates and members of the Etihad club’s hierarchy, were also invited onto stage to claim the organisation’s second successive Club of the Year award at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.
Ederson came close to winning his first Yachine Trophy award too, with the Brazil international shot-stopper finishing as runner-up behind Argentina and Aston Villa star Emiliano Martinez.
‘I’m going to play, and not this kid!’ – Journalist reveals major Manchester City fall-out involving Pep Guardiola
Manchester City ready to drop interest in Premier League star – Attention could turn to Bayern Munich playmaker
‘I will put up with everything!’ – Lionel Messi’s heartfelt exchange with Pep Guardiola over Manchester City transfer
The BIG World-Cup Preview!
Manchester City undergo scouting mission on Juventus midfielder
Exclusive: Manchester City Plan Major Etihad Stadium Stand Redevelopment
Match Coverage3 days ago
Manchester City vs RB Leipzig (UEFA Champions League): Match Preview, Team News, Head to Head, How to Watch
News2 days ago
Manchester City chief confirms exit for Al-Hilal in 2024
Match Coverage2 days ago
Match Report and Player Ratings: Manchester City 3-2 RB Leipzig (UEFA Champions League)
Transfers2 days ago
Manchester City versatile centre-back targeted by Southampton and Burnley