Lionel Messi Wins His Eighth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has officially been awarded his eighth Ballon d'Or award. The Argentina and Inter Miami forward is now the footballer with the most wins of the prestigious football awards. For this year's award, the 36-year-old footballer beat Manchester City's Erling Haaland for the Ballon d'Or. He was regonized in Paris for helping his country win the World Cup in Qatar last year.

In third after Erling Haaland who received the Gerd Muller Trophy for best goalscorer, Kylian Mbappé was next, while England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for the world's best player aged under 21. David Beckham, Inter Miami club owner, presented Messi with the Ballon d'Or. Messi said, "It's nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream." The former FC Barcelona and Paris St-Germain star continued, ""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. All of them [Ballon d'Or awards] are special for different reasons."

Messi has played a crucial part as Inter Miami won their first trophy in the Leagues Cup, scoring 11 goals in 14 appearances for the MLS. He has now won three more Ballon d'Or awards than anyone else with Cristiano Ronaldo winning it only five times. The Portugal footballer who is now on Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia has not been named on the shortlist for the award for the first time since 2003.

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