Messi wins 8th Ballon d'Or

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Lionel Messi, the Inter Miami CF star, has won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time, surpassing his previous record of seven wins. This achievement makes him the first Major League Soccer (MLS) based player to claim this prestigious prize1
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6. Messi, at 36 years old, is also the second oldest player to ever win the Ballon d'Or, with only the inaugural winner, Stanley Matthews in 1956, being older when he won it at the age of 411. Messi's triumph comes largely on the back of his exploits with Argentina in the World Cup last year. As the captain of the Argentina team, Messi was instrumental in ending a 36-year wait for Argentina to be crowned world champions for the third time12. He scored seven goals and assisted three more during the tournament, earning him the Player of the Tournament title1. Notably, Messi scored twice in the final and again in the penalty shootout against France, leading Argentina to one of the most memorable victories in the competition's history12. In the 2022/23 season, Messi played 41 matches for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), scoring 21 goals and providing 20 assists, helping PSG retain the Ligue 1 title12. After his contract at PSG ran out in the summer, Messi moved to Inter Miami in MLS on a free transfer2. Since joining Inter Miami, Messi has played a key role in helping the team win their first trophy - the Leagues Cup - and has scored 11 goals in 14 appearances5. Messi's first six Ballon d'Or awards were won while he played for Barcelona, where he is the club's record goalscorer and appearance holder. He won it for a seventh time shortly after joining PSG in 2021 following Copa America success with Argentina1. His eighth win in 2023 further extends his lead over other players, with Cristiano Ronaldo having won it five times, most recently in 20175. In the 2023 Ballon d'Or voting, Messi fended off competition from Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who finished second in the voting and won the Gerd Muller Trophy given to the best striker of the year. Haaland scored 52 goals last season as City won the Treble in 2022-2315. Messi's former Paris Saint-Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappé, was also among the nominees6.
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