Lionel Messi last night was voted as the winner of the most prestigious individual award in football, the Ballon D’or, after earning more votes ahead of Manchester City forward Erling Haaland and former teammate Kylian Mbappé.
While speaking to the men of the press, the World Cup winner said:
“I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had. Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa América and then the World Cup, to get it done, is amazing.”
Messi guided Argentina to another historical World Cup triumph in Qatar and won the Ligue One with PSG. Messi winning his 8th, which is the most by any player didn’t sit down well with many football fans who have divergent opinions. Many believed Erling Haaland’s terrific run with Manchester City last season was enough to secure him the award – having scored more goals than Messi and won the treble, including the Champions League with City.
FIFA and the organizers of the award have been accused of preferring Lionel Messi, which they feel will crumble the beautiful game of football if it lingers.
Top 20 ranking of the 2023 Ballon dor ranking:
4. Vinícius Jr
5: De Bruyne
9: J. Alvarez
12: Bernardo Silva
17: E. Martinez
Victor Osimhen’s finishing in the 8th spot makes him the first Nigerian to have attained that feat. Osimhen, who was the Italian Serie A best forward last season, helped Napoli to win their first-ever title after 33 years.