Lionel Messi has been crowned the winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or after a memorable 12 months for the 36-year-old.
The award is the Argentina star’s eighth, which extends his own record for the most Ballon d’Ors ever won, with Cristiano Ronaldo in second place with five.
This Ballon d’Or comes a remarkable 14 years after the Barcelona legend won his first in 2009 and it shows the incredible longevity of the sport’s greatest-ever player.
Messi beat the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the award, who also had sensational seasons for their clubs and countries, but the award was only ever going to go to one man following a special month in Qatar at the end of last year.
Messi put together one of the greatest, if not the greatest, World Cup campaigns ever seen to help Argentina to a third World crown in Qatar last year. The 36-year-old played like a man possessed as he reached the pinnacle of football and it left the Argentine with nothing left to achieve in the sport.
However, the forward did not stop there; in his first tournament with Inter Miami, Messi guided the MLS franchise to their first-ever trophy by winning the Leagues Cup. The Barcelona legend scored 10 goals and assisted another across the seven matches to the title, which already makes him a hero in the Magic City.
That is on top of his campaign with PSG, where Messi scored 16 goals and assisted another 16 across 32 matches as the Paris-based club won Ligue 1 by one point.
Overall, it has been a memorable season for Messi and the World Cup winner is fully deserving of his eighth Ballon d’Or crown.