Lionel Messi wins 8th  Ballon D’or

Lionel Messi, an attacker for Inter Miami and Argentina, took home the eighth Ballon d'Or trophy on Monday, setting a new record. The presentation took place in Paris
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

(Football news) Messi ‘s leadership for Argentina’s push to their third World Cup triumph in Qatar, the 36-year-old adds the 2023 honor to his prior honors from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. He received the honor from Herons co-owner David Beckham.

Messi became the first player in history to win the Golden Ball on multiple occasions with his seven goals and three assists throughout the 2022 competition. He also finished second in the Golden Boot competition, trailing only Kylian Mbappe.

Lionel Messi scored 21 goals and provided 20 assists in 41 games during his second and final season with Paris Saint-Germain, including a division-high 16 Ligue 1 assists en way to winning the league, in addition to his eagerly anticipated taste of World Cup fame.

On the podium beside Messi were Erling Haaland of Manchester City, who came in second place behind the former player from Barcelona, and Mbappe, his former teammate from PSG, who came in third.

Before Messi was crowned for the eighth time, Barcelona Women’s and Spain Women’s Aitana Bonmati received the Ballon d’Or Feminin, which was given away by top tennis player Novak Djokovic. Bonmati was a key member of La Roja’s 2023 World Cup-winning team.

The 25-year-old midfielder won the Golden Ball as the World Cup’s finest performer after tallying three goals and two assists in seven appearances for Spain. She also put up an incredible display of numbers in her double-winning season with Barcelona.

Bonmati scored five goals and assisted eight more in 11 Champions League games as the 2022–2023 La Liga season came to a close. He also finished with nine goals and ten assists from 23 games.

The Spaniard is the new Ballon d’Or Feminin winner, taking over from her countrymate Alexia Putellas. Samantha Kerr of Chelsea finished in second, followed by Bonmati’s Barcelona teammate Salma Paralluelo in third.

In other news, Jude Bellingham, a midfielder for Real Madrid and England, won the Kopa Trophy for the greatest Under-21 player. He did so by defeating Jamal Musiala of Bayern Munich and Pedri of Barcelona to claim the title for the first time.

With eight goals and five assists in 31 games, the 20-year-old Bellingham led Dortmund’s Bundesliga title chase in the 2022–2023 season. However, Edin Terzic’s team was devastated to lose to Bayern on goal difference.

The former Birmingham City player, who scored once and assisted once as England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals, also made history as the first English teenager to score in four straight Champions League games.

Two years after coming in second to Pedri in 2021, Bellingham—who is also predicted to win the Golden Boy prize in December—becomes the first English winner of the Kopa Trophy.

Emiliano Martinez of Argentina and Aston Villa, who won the Golden Glove during La Albiceleste’s run to 2022 World Cup success, was named the winner of the Yashin Trophy for finest goalkeeper.

The former Arsenal player, who won the title of Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2022, denied Randal Kolo Muani in the championship game with a pivotal last-second save. He also stopped Kingsley Coman in the penalty shootout.

Martinez is the fourth winner of the Yashin Trophy, following Alisson, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Thibaut Courtois. At the club level, Martinez preserved 13 clean sheets in 36 Premier League games for Aston Villa to help the Lions qualify for the Europa Conference League.

In other news, Manchester City, who replicated the feat of Manchester United in 1998–1999 by winning the FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League, was named the men’s Club of the Year. Meanwhile, Barcelona, the reigning champions of La Liga and the Women’s Champions League, was named the women’s Club of the Year.

After scoring an incredible 68 goals in 54 games for his club and country, Haaland was awarded the Gerd Muller Trophy as the best striker. Meanwhile, Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid received the Socrates Award for his efforts in combating racism and his charitable work with the Vini Jr Institute, which uses technology to help educate Brazilian children from low-income backgrounds.

Also read: Aston Villa enter the top 4 after defeating Luton

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