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Lionel Messi wins the 2023 Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has been named as the winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or, picking up the award for a historic eighth time.

The Inter Miami forward was among the top favourites for the award handed out by France Football but overcame rivals like Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappe to once again be crowned the best player in world football.

Messi’s crowning achievement during the 2022/23 season – the designated time frame for those in contention – was leading Argentina to World Cup glory late in 2022 in Qatar, ending La Albiceleste’s 36-year wait for their third global honour.

Lionel Messi
Messi led Argentina to World Cup glory / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

The former Barcelona star scored in every round from the group stage to the final, where Argentina pipped France to the trophy on penalties at Lusail Iconic Stadium despite then PSG teammate Mbappe’s stunning hat-trick.

At club level, the 26-year-old contributed 16 Ligue 1 goals as Paris Saint-Germain won the French title. He left PSG upon the expiry of his two-year contract in June before making the move to Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, leading them to the club’s first ever piece of major silverware with the Leagues Cup.

This year’s triumph comes after Messi scooped the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. He is now three golden balls clear of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who was not included on this year’s shortlist.

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