Argentina and Inter Miami playmaker, Lionel Messi on Monday night won the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time, while Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati claimed the Women’s Ballon d’Or.
Africa Today News, New York reports that Messi, led his country to World Cup glory last year as he lifted the trophy for the first time and won the Golden Ball award for the best player of the tournament in Qatar.
The 36-year-old reclaimed the Ballon d’Or from France’s Karim Benzema to add to his wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.
With this victory, the former Barcelona forward widens his lead over Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-time winner. with the first time since 2003, the Portuguese international, 38, who competes with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, did not make the shortlist.
Messi moved from Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the Ligue 1 title in both seasons, to Inter Miami, an MLS team, at the end of the previous season, leaving European football behind.
David Beckham, the owner of Inter Miami and 1999 Ballon d’Or runner-up, gave Messi the trophy. The Argentine star said that this will be his final Ballon d’Or victory.
He said: ‘I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had.
‘Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing.
‘Being world champion was fantastic. But the truth is I’ve never really got used to receiving awards and being on the stage like this.
‘Slowly I have got used to it a bit more since winning it for the first time in 2009. I think today is the last time I will win it, so it feels calmer and I will enjoy it in a different way.
‘I’m proud of the career I’ve had. I’ve enjoyed football all my life and soon I’ll enjoy it from the other side.
‘I don’t know for how much longer I’ll play but I plan to enjoy it.
‘I can’t put a number on it as things can change very quickly from day to day in football. But I know that day is getting closer and closer.’
Messi claimed the 2023 Ballon d’Or in Paris ahead of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season to help City land the treble, with PSG and France forward Kylian Mbappe, just the second man to score a World Cup hat-trick, finishing third.
Haaland did not leave the Ballon d’Or ceremony empty-handed after landing the Gerd Muller Trophy for his record-breaking goal haul last season.
Meanwhile, his team Man City were named the men’s club of the year for a second year running after winning the Treble.
Pep Guardiola’s side also had five players in the Ballon d’Or top 10 as Kevin De Bruyne finished fourth while Rodri came fifth, Julian Alvarez – also a team-mate of Messi at international level – was seventh, and Bernardo Silva was ninth.
Barcelona midfielder Bonmati won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for the first time as she helped Spain to maiden World Cup glory in August and won a league and Champions League double at club level.
Bonmati won the Golden Ball for the best player of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while she was recently named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.
The 25-year-old became the second Spanish player to win the Women’s Ballon d’Or after Barcelona compatriot Alexia Putellas was awarded the prize for the last two years.
Bonmati beat Chelsea and Australia striker Sam Kerr to the award, while England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps finished fifth in the voting after winning the Golden Glove at the World Cup.
Fellow Lionesses Rachel Daly (10th), Millie Bright (11th) and Georgia Stanway (23rd) were among the nominees for the fifth edition of the women’s award, with Arsenal and Republic of Ireland’s Katie McCabe finishing 22nd.
Meanwhile, Bonmati’s team Barcelona won the women’s club of the year award after they won the Champions League and Spanish league title last season.
Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in the world.
Martinez claimed the award ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson for his heroics at the World Cup last year to help his country lift the trophy.
The 31-year-old became the second Premier League goalkeeper to take home the Yashin Trophy after its inception in 2019, with the inaugural award won by Liverpool’s Alisson Becker.
- Lionel Messi (Argentina, Inter Miami)
- Erling Haaland (Norway, Manchester City)
- Kylian Mbappe (France, PSG)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
- Rodri (Spain, Manchester City)
- Vinicius Junior (Brazil, Real Madrid)
- Julian Alvarez (Argentina, Manchester City)
- Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)
- Bernardo Silva (Portugal, Manchester City)
- Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
- Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)
- Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Barcelona)
- Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)
- Ilkay Gundogan (Germany, Barcelona)
- Emiliano Martinez (Argentina, Aston Villa)
- Karim Benzema (France, Al Ittihad)
- Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Georgia, Napoli)
- Jude Bellingham (England, Real Madrid)
- Harry Kane (England, Bayern Munich)
- Lautaro Martinez (Argentina, Inter Milan)
- Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid)
- Min-Jae Kim (South Korea, Bayern Munich)
- Andre Onana (Cameroon, Manchester United)
- Bukayo Saka (England, Arsenal)
- Josko Gvardiol (Croatia, Manchester City)
- Jamal Musiala (Germany, Bayern Munich)
- Nicolo Barella (Italy, Inter Milan
- Martin Odegaard (Norway, Arsenal)
- Randal Kolo Muani (France, PSG)
- Ruben Dias (Portugal, Manchester City)
2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or – Top 10
- Aitana Bonmati (Spain, Barcelona)
- Sam Kerr (Australia, Chelsea)
- Salma Paralluelo (Spain, Barcelona)
- Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden, Barcelona)
- Mary Earps (England, Manchester United)
- Olga Carmona (Spain, Real Madrid)
- Alexandra Popp (Germany, Wolfsburg)
- Patricia Guijarro (Spain, Barcelona)
- Linda Caicedo (Colombia, Real Madrid)
- Rachel Daly (England, Aston Villa)