Lionel Messi has done it again: the now 36-year-old world champion has won the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time.
Lionel Messi and the Ballon d’Or – these two have found each other once again in 2023, after a one-year hiatus due to Karim Benzema’s 2022 win. One reason for this: the Argentine finally won a World Cup with his home country last year – an aspect that was probably decisive over Erling Haaland.
Haaland’s flood of goals and titles apparently not enough
The fact that the former Dortmund man had contributed 12 goals in 11 Champions League games and 36 goals in 35 Premier League games (a record!) in his debut season with Manchester City and helped the Skyblues to the treble was not enough in the end for the 23-year-old Norwegian, who is Europe’s Footballer of the Year. He was able to console himself with the Gerd Müller Trophy.
For the crowd of journalists entitled to vote, the World Cup victory of veteran Messi was obviously more valuable: The 36-year-old ball artist left his mark on the World Cup in Qatar. La Pulga” scored two of his seven goals, plus three assists, in the final against France (4:2).
In the summer, Messi moved to Inter Miami in the USA after his mixed time at Paris St. Germain (21 goals and 20 assists in 41 competitive games last season). There, albeit at a lower level, he is finally putting in performances like he did with the Albiceleste and is being widely celebrated for it.
Actual double winner with 36
The ballot for the Ballon d’Or, organized by “France Football”, fell to Messi for the eighth time. The sole record holder was also named FIFA World Player for the seventh time earlier this year.
Behind Messi, Haaland, Kylian Mbappé and Kevin De Bruyne finished second to fourth. The best German was Ilkay Gündogan in 14th place.