In a remarkable achievement, Lionel Messi clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or title during the 2023 ceremony, a recognition of his stellar performance while leading Argentina to World Cup victory.
Prior to his move to Inter Miami in the summer, the 36-year-old played a pivotal role in orchestrating Argentina’s triumph in Qatar. He scored twice during the final match and also excelled during a crucial penalty shoot-out, helping his team overcome the 2018 World Cup champions, France.
Messi’s influence extended beyond the international stage, as he scored an impressive 32 goals in 55 games across all competitions for PSG, contributing significantly to their Ligue 1 title win.
During the prestigious ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, the Ballon d’Or was presented to Messi by David Beckham, co-owner of Inter Miami, amid a standing ovation from the audience.
Messi expressed his gratitude, saying, ‘It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment,’ and he shared his joy in fulfilling his dream of winning the World Cup.
When Didier Drogba, the host of the ceremony, inquired if this Ballon d’Or held a special place in Messi’s heart due to the 2022 World Cup victory, the 36-year-old responded with humility, stating, ‘They’re all special.’
He went on to reflect on his illustrious career, expressing his gratitude for being part of the best team in history and achieving remarkable feats, including winning the Copa America and the World Cup, despite the challenges faced during his international career.
2023 BALLON D’OR RANKINGS
1st Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
2nd Erling Haaland (Man City)
3rd Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
4th Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
5th Rodri (Man City)
6th Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
7th Julian Alvarez (Man City)
8th Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
9th Bernardo Silva (Man City)
10th Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
11th Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
13th Yassine Bounou (Al-Hilal)
14th Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona)
15th Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
16th Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad)
17th Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
18th Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
19th Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
20th Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
21st Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
22nd – Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich)
23rd – Andre Onana (Manchester United)
24th – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
25th – Josko Gvardiol (Man City)
26th – Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
27th – Nicola Barella (Inter Milan)
= 28th – Randal Kolo Muani (Paris Saint Germain) and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
30th – Ruben Dias (Man City)
Speaking on Messi, Beckham said: ‘It’s very special to say he’s a Miami player and he’s in our city. He’ll celebrate this with his team-mates and his family in his way .”
‘We’ll do our best to celebrate it in the Miami way. I’m sure we can do a good party.’