Argentina great Lionel Messi wins record eighth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi wins record eighth Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi wins record eighth Ballon d'OrAFP
Argentina and Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi claimed his record eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday night.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain player was presented with the coveted award at a ceremony in Paris.

Messi's perceived career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, now with Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, has won the Ballon d'Or five times in his career.

Argentina, captained by Messi, won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar earlier this year - their first title since 1986; and third in total.

Messi and Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni
Messi and Argentina coach Lionel ScaloniAFP

"It's nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment," said Messi. "To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream.

"I couldn't imagine having the career I've had and everything I've achieved, the fortune I've had to be part of the best team in history."

Messi beat Man City striker Erling Haaland and PSG's Kylian Mbappe to claim the biggest individual honour in football.

On the women's side, the Ballon d'Or Feminin was won by Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati.

This year represents the fifth iteration of the women's award. Bonmati's first, teammate Alexia Putellas has picked it up twice in her career.

At the expense of England, La Roja claimed the Women's World Cup in Sydney earlier this year - their first title.

Bonmati becomes the first player to win all three of the World Cup Golden Ball, UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or Feminin.

Among the other winners, Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez received the Yashin Trophy.


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