Home Sports Football GOAT status sealed: Messi clinches record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or

GOAT status sealed: Messi clinches record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or

GOAT status sealed: Messi clinches record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi added one other glittering chapter to his extraordinary profession by clinching his eighth Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday evening.

The accolade, a testomony to his indomitable expertise and enduring excellence, was offered to him on stage on the Chatelet Theatre amid an viewers that included a number of the largest names in soccer.

Meanwhile, Spain’s World Cup hero, Aitana Bonmati, claimed the coveted girls’s prize, capping off her outstanding yr in model.

For Messi, the Ballon d’Or represents a fruits of his inspirational exploits on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Last yr, he single-handedly propelled Argentina to victory, netting a outstanding seven objectives and incomes the excellence of being named the event’s most excellent participant.

It was the zenith of his illustrious profession, a feat that allowed him to outshine stiff competitors, notably from Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

The return to Paris was notably poignant for Messi, having parted methods with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in June and subsequently making the transfer to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

“This is a gift to the entire Argentina team for what we achieved,” Messi declared, taking the chance to precise his gratitude and humility on stage after being handed over the award by Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham.

In a heartfelt gesture, Messi devoted his eighth Ballon d’Or to the late Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, whose 63rd birthday would have been celebrated on that very day.

“Happy birthday, Diego. This is for you, too,” he stated.

This yr, the Ballon d’Or adopted a brand new format, evaluating gamers primarily based on their efficiency over the previous season moderately than the calendar yr.

It meant Messi’s underwhelming last season at PSG didn’t hinder his triumph regardless of being a Ligue 1 title holder.

Inter Miami's Lionel Messi, accompanied by his sons, holds the trophy after winning the men's Ballon d'Or, Paris, France, Oct. 30, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi, accompanied by his sons, holds the trophy after successful the boys’s Ballon d’Or, Paris, France, Oct. 30, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

While Kylian Mbappe was the standout performer, amassing 41 objectives and securing the World Cup’s Golden Boot with eight objectives, he needed to accept third place within the Ballon d’Or rankings.

The second spot was claimed by Norway’s sharpshooter, Erling Haaland, who dazzled with 52 objectives in 53 appearances for the treble-winning Manchester City aspect.

With this eighth Ballon d’Or victory, Messi, now 36, continues to construct on his legendary standing in soccer, pulling three trophies forward of his arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, the second-most embellished participant within the historical past of the award.

Yet, Messi stays humble and targeted on the current, saying, “I am not thinking about the long-term future. I am just enjoying the day-to-day at the moment.”

While Messi’s future within the Ballon d’Or race stays unsure, the emergence of rising stars like Mbappe, Haaland and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham guarantees an thrilling contest within the years forward.

Nevertheless, Messi’s monumental contributions on the World Cup ensured that his victory this yr felt virtually predestined.

Bonmati completes it

In the ladies’s class, the victor appeared equally clear-cut.

Aitana Bonmati, the 25-year-old Spanish midfielder, was duly rewarded for her pivotal function in Spain’s World Cup triumph in Australia in August.

Not solely did she excel on the worldwide stage, however she additionally shone as Barcelona lifted the Champions League trophy final season.

Recently, Bonmati was named the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, underscoring her excellent achievements.

“It is difficult to improve on this. It has been a unique year,” she stated.

She recounted her journey from taking part in as a baby to gracing the hallowed turf of Camp Nou, securing World Cup glory, two Champions League titles, a Ballon d’Or and a UEFA award.

Bonmati’s accolade was a well-deserved recognition of her outstanding achievements.

The Spanish World Cup-winning staff made a major influence on the awards, with 4 members, together with Alba Redondo, Salma Paralluelo and Olga Carmona, receiving nominations.

Alexia Putellas, final yr’s Ballon d’Or winner, was notably absent from the checklist attributable to a knee harm that sidelined her for many of the earlier season.

Australia’s Sam Kerr secured second place, whereas Salma Paralluelo got here in third.

In addition to the primary Ballon d’Or awards, Jude Bellingham, who has begun his Madrid profession with a bang, bagged the Kopa Trophy, recognizing one of the best participant beneath 21 within the final season.

The 20-year-old’s spectacular begin with Real Madrid noticed him web 13 objectives in 13 video games.

Meanwhile, his teammate, Brazilian ahead Vinicius Junior, claimed the Socrates prize for his commendable off-pitch contributions.

Not to be ignored, Emiliano Martinez, Messi’s compatriot and Argentina’s formidable goalkeeper, clinched the Yashin Trophy for one of the best goalkeeper of the season.

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