Lionel Messi Wins Eighth Ballon D'or Award After World Cup Success
Lionel Messi was crowned the Ballon d'Or 2023 winner in a ceremony in Paris on Monday, his eighth time winning the prestigious award.
Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last winter for the first time, ending a 36-year drought for La Albiceleste.
The 36-year-old scored twice in a nail-biting final against France in December, which ended 3-3 after extra time scored in the penalty shoot-out and was named player of the match.
Messi beat out Manchester City's Erling Haaland and former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe as well as 26 other nominees to win the award.
In a league title-winning season for PSG, he played 41 matches, scoring 21 goals and providing 20 assists.
At the World Cup in Qatar, Messi scored twice in the group stage and was on target in each knockout round, scoring against Australia, the Netherlands and Croatia.
The former Barcelona forward won the Golden Ball at the end of the competition in recognition of his excellent campaign.
Messi finished second in the top goalscorer charts with seven goals. He also won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal and Al Nassr is in second place with five awards but was not nominated for the 2023 edition, marking the first time he has not been up for the award since 2003.