Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Lionel Messi Wins Record 8th Ballon d’Or After Argentina’s World Cup Triumph

Lionel Messi wins 8th Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi reached the pinnacle of global football once again, winning a record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or award on Monday night in recognition of his instrumental role in guiding Argentina to their long-awaited World Cup championship in 2022.

The Paris ceremony cemented 36-year-old Messi’s status as one of the greatest footballers ever. After years of near misses, he finally achieved the ultimate prize in Qatar, leading Argentina to the final and scoring twice, along with converting his penalty kick in the dramatic shootout victory over defending champion France.

Messi Joins the List of “Over-36 Winners”

By claiming the 2022 Ballon d’Or at 36 years and 4 months old, Messi becomes only the second player over 36 to earn the honor. Stanley Matthews was the inaugural Ballon d’Or winner in 1956 at the age of 41.

The age of the two oldest winners underscores how extraordinarily rare it is for players to maintain elite performance deep into their thirties. Messi’s continued excellence shows his commitment to conditioning and preparation, allowing him to summon the brilliance that made him a six-time winner in his twenties.

Lionel Messi 8th Ballon d'Or
Photo Credit: 2023 Ballon d’Or

First MLS Player to Claim Award, Although World Cup Exploits Take Center Stage

Messi spent last season with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain before moving stateside to join Inter Miami in Major League Soccer. He is the first MLS player to win the Ballon d’Or, no small feat given the improving quality of the American league.

However, there is no mistaking that Messi’s World Cup accomplishments took center stage in the voting criteria. His 7 goals and 3 assists spearheaded Argentina’s run through the knockout stage. With the trophy finally in his grasp after four previous World Cup heartbreaks, Messi exorcised the demons that had unfairly lingered over his international career.

Haaland’s Prolific Start Presages Future Ballon d’Or Contention

Manchester City phenom Erling Haaland finished second in the Ballon d’Or voting on the back of a scintillating Premier League debut season. The 22-year-old Norwegian striker scored a staggering 52 goals across competitions, powering City to a domestic treble.

Haaland appears poised to become Messi’s heir apparent as the world’s most feared striker. With his combination of size, speed, and finishing ability, Haaland is a nightmare for EPL defenses. As he gains more refinement and experience, he figures to contend for the Ballon d’Or regularly over the next decade.

World Cup Redemption Story Made Messi the Sentimental Favorite

Ballon d'Or 2023 Winner Lionel Messi and Aitana Bonmati
Men’s Ballon d’Or 2023 Winner Lionel Messi and Women’s Ballon d’Or 2023 Winner Aitana Bonmati.

While the Ballon d’Or is meant to recognize a player’s performance over the entire previous year, there is no denying that Messi’s World Cup redemption carried significant weight with voters.

After painful runner-up finishes in 2014 and consecutive Copa America final losses, the soccer world willed Messi to lift that elusive World Cup trophy finally. His performance in Qatar delivered on that promise in storybook fashion.

From his iconic tournament-opening penalty against Saudi Arabia to his mesmerizing assist to Molina against Mexico, Messi rose to the occasion repeatedly. By the time he coolly converted his shootout attempt in the final, he had put to rest any notion that he needed a World Cup to validate his GOAT status.

Messi Pays Tribute to Maradona on Late Legend’s Birthday

In his gracious Ballon d’Or acceptance speech, Messi paid homage to Argentine icon Diego Maradona, who tragically passed away in November 2020.

Messi noted that the award ceremony serendipitously fell on what would have been Maradona’s 63rd birthday. He expressed hope that somewhere, Maradona would be looking down and sharing in the celebration, “surrounded by the best players, coaches, and people who love football like he did.”

It was a moving gesture by Messi, who has so often been measured unfairly against the larger-than-life figure of Maradona in Argentina. While their styles differed, both reached the pinnacle of the sport and obtained god-like status in their homeland.

With eight Ballons d’Or and a World Cup trophy now to his name, Messi has carved out his own place in history alongside Maradona as one of football’s immortals. This latest triumph only adds to his eternal legend.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Related Articles

Top Trending

Sam Altman Clarifies no Ai Creatures in Development
OpenAI's Sam Altman Clarifies: No AI "Creatures" in Development
Ugly Movie Characters
15 Most Ugly Movie Characters You Have Ever Seen [Ranked]
CDC Advice
New CDC Advice: Seniors Should Get 2nd Updated COVID Shot Now!
Northern Lights Spectacle
March Magic: Best Time for Northern Lights Spectacle - Must-See!
March 3 Zodiac
March 3 Zodiac Sign: Understanding Your Astrological Path

LIFESTYLE

Taurine Key to Extending Life Research Finds
Taurine: The Secret Ingredient for a Longer Life? Latest Research Insights
Strategies to Beat Procrastination
Beat Procrastination: Effective Strategies to Stay Productive!
Egyptian Cotton Sheets for Your Bed
A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Egyptian Cotton Sheets for Your Bed
Long Lehenga Choli
Elegance Redefined: Navigating the Diverse World of Long Lehenga Choli Designs
valentines day outfits
Top 20 Trendy Valentine's Day Outfits in 2024 For Every Occasion

Entertainment

Ugly Movie Characters
15 Most Ugly Movie Characters You Have Ever Seen [Ranked]
Stelle Ciccone
The Inspiring Journey of Stelle Ciccone: Madonna's Adopted Daughter
Hailey Bieber Justin 30th Birthday Tribute
Hailey Bieber's Sweet 30th Birthday Tribute to Justin: 'Love of My Life, for Life'
apple tv plus march 2024
Exciting Lineup of New TV Shows and Movies to Watch on Apple TV Plus in March 2024
disney plus march 2024
New Releases on in March 2024: What to Watch on Disney Plus

GAMING

Nintendo lawsuit Rhode Island Game Piracy
Nintendo Takes Legal Action Against Rhode Island Company Over Game Piracy Claims
Best Online Pokies in Australia
The Best Online Pokies in Australia
Sports Betting vs Online Casinos
Sports Betting vs Online Casinos: Where is it Easier to Win?
Play Games for Bitcoin
Can You Play Games for Bitcoin? 
Most Played Games at Online Casinos
Discover the Most Played Games at Online Casinos

BUSINESS

Sam Altman OpenAI Investigation Investor Claims
OpenAI & Sam Altman Probe: Investor Mislead Claims Amidst Leadership Turmoil
Futures and Options
Evaluating the Safety of Investing in Futures and Options
Young Australians Money
Why Young Australians Need to Know About Money?
NPS Tier 1 vs Tier 2
NPS Tier 1 vs Tier 2: Understanding the Differences
Tips to Manage Your Small Business in 2024
5 Tips to Manage Your Small Business in 2024

TECHNOLOGY

Sam Altman Clarifies no Ai Creatures in Development
OpenAI's Sam Altman Clarifies: No AI "Creatures" in Development
Spotify Epic Vs Apple DMA Compliance
Spotify & Epic Claim Apple's App Store Fails to Meet DMA Standards
Technology Reshaping Share Market
How Technology is Reshaping the Share Market Investing Landscape?
Integra Sources
Integra Sources: Custom Project Development Services
Sam Altman OpenAI Investigation Investor Claims
OpenAI & Sam Altman Probe: Investor Mislead Claims Amidst Leadership Turmoil

HEALTH

CDC Advice
New CDC Advice: Seniors Should Get 2nd Updated COVID Shot Now!
Tata Institute Rs 100 Cancer prevention Tablet
Tata Institute's Breakthrough: Rs 100 Tablet May Prevent Cancer Recurrence
Norovirus Cases Surge US Northeast CDC Report
US Norovirus Surge: CDC Highlights Spike in Northeast Cases
Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries
Top Healthiest and Unhealthiest Countries Globally - 2024 Rankings
Best Way to Prevent Gum Disease
What is the Best Way to Prevent Gum Disease?