Lionel Messi, the prolific forward representing Argentina and Inter Miami, has secured his eighth Men’s Ballon d’Or accolade. This remarkable achievement was celebrated during a grand ceremony in the heart of Paris, honoring Messi for his pivotal role in guiding his nation to World Cup victory in Qatar the previous year. The Ballon d’Or, a globally renowned award that distinguishes the year’s finest footballer, is determined by the votes of 100 esteemed journalists from across the world.
Messi’s contributions extended beyond the international stage. He played a pivotal role in Inter Miami’s historic triumph, clinching their maiden trophy, the Leagues Cup. Further showcasing his goal-scoring prowess, Messi notched an impressive 11 goals in just 14 appearances for the Major League Soccer side.
With this latest triumph, Messi has etched his name in history, accumulating three more Ballon d’Or awards than any other player, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo’s previous record of five, the most recent being in 2017. Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo, currently plying his trade at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, was conspicuously absent from the shortlist, marking the first time since 2003 that he was not included.
The former Barcelona maestro exhibited his unmatched skill by netting seven goals during the World Cup, a remarkable feat that earned him the distinction of being the tournament’s standout player. His momentous performance culminated in Argentina’s thrilling victory over France in the final held in Doha, where the outcome was determined by a nerve-wracking penalty shootout.
Despite these impressive accomplishments, Messi’s final season with Paris Saint-Germain was less than stellar, ultimately prompting his move to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer. When queried about the prospects of securing additional Ballon d’Or awards, particularly after the 2026 World Cup, at which point he will be 39 years old, Messi offered a humble response, stating, “I am not preoccupied with long-term aspirations. I am wholly immersed in relishing the day-to-day experiences of the present.”
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