Lionel Messi crowned world’s best footballer…AGAIN: World Cup winner is awarded Ballon d’Or for record eighth time at glitzy ceremony with his model wife and three sons by his side
Lionel Messi was crowned men’s Ballon d’Or winner for a record eighth time last night at a glittering Parisian ceremony where his adoring wife and sons watched on as David Beckham presented him with the award.
The 36-year-old Inter Miami star is now three clear of rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the last of his five Ballon d’Or trophies in 2017 and was not in France for the A-list event on Monday.
In what could be the final time he is crowned the best male footballer on the planet, the Rosario-born forward was supported by his wife Antonela Roccuzzo, 35, and their three sons Thiago, 10, Mateo, seven, and Ciro, five.
Messi has now finished among the top three a record 14 times in total, finishing runner-up on five occasions. He has since inspired US fans after moving to Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain, but it was his imperious form in Qatar which saw him crowned again following Argentina’s third World Cup win.
Messi beat Manchester City’s Erling Haaland into second place with France’s Kylian Mbappe third. England and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham was voted the Kopa Award winner for best Under-21 player in the world.
In a hint it could be his swansong, he said after collecting the trophy: ‘Erling deserved it very much too, he has won the Premier League, Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. This award could have been yours today too, I’m sure in the next years you will win it’.
The event was attended by many of the world’s best male and female footballers and their partners or spouses.
Lionel Messi was crowned Ballon d’Or winner for a record eighth time last night after leading Argentina to World Cup glory last year
Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi after being awarded the men’s Ballon d’Or by co owner David Beckham
Messi hugs his boss Becks after receiving the award
Lionel Messi hugs his sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro on stage
Antonela Roccuzzo and Lionel Messi with sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro
Lionel Messi (L) holding his 8th Ballon d’Or award and FC Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Aitana Bonmati (R) holding her Woman Ballon d’Or award during the 2023 Ballon d’Or France Football award ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris
The packed Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for last night’s ceremony
Accepting the award Messi said: ‘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.
READ MORE: Lionel Messi’s childhood sweetheart Antonela Roccuzzo steals the show she poses in gorgeous black gown with their children at the 2023 Ballon d’Or
‘It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream. To win the Copa America and to get the World Cup after all those difficult moments for the national team (was fantastic).’
David Beckham, the co-owner of Inter Miami, presented him with the coveted award at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, to a standing ovation from members of the crowd.
‘It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment,’ said Messi. ‘To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream.’
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati, who won a league and Champions League double before playing a pivotal role in her country’s World Cup triumph, won the women’s Ballon d’Or.
Treble winners Manchester City were crowned men’s team of the season while Haaland won the Gerd Muller Trophy for the world’s top-scoring striker after hitting a record 56 goals last season.
Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Lev Yashin Trophy for goalkeeper of the year after starring alongside Messi in their nation’s World Cup win.
The four-time champions league winner beat some tough competition to claim first place, with Erling Haaland coming in second, Kylian Mbappe coming in third and Kevin De Bruyne ranking fourth.
Lionel Messi, his wife Antonela and their children are surrounded by fans as they leave their hotel
Lionel Messi claimed his eighth Ballon d’Or title on Monday night in Paris
Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi after winning the men’s Ballon d’Or with his sons
Sharp: Messi, 36, looked very dapper with a sharp black suit with a white shirt and a black bow tie
Glam: The 35-year-old donned an elegant floor length gown with a gold chain enhancing the ensemble’s asymmetric one shoulder look
Lionel Messi holds his awards for best player and top scorer after Miami defeated Nashville SC in the 2023 Leagues Cup final in August
The four-time Champions League winner arrived at the event alongside his family
Support: The couple’s three sons, Thiago, 10, Mateo, 7, and Ciro, 5, stood proudly together with their parents
Former English football player and Inter Miami’s co-owner David Beckham speaks on stage during the 2023 Ballon d’Or France Football award ceremony
2023 Ballon d’Or rankings
- 1st Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
- 2nd Erling Haaland (Man City)
- 3rd Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
- 4th Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
- 5th Rodri (Man City)
- 6th Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
- 7th Julian Alvarez (Man City)
- 8th Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
- 9th Bernardo Silva (Man City)
- 10th Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- 11th Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- 13th Yassine Bounou (Al-Hilal)
- 14th Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona)
- 15th Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
- 16th Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad)
- 17th Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
- 18th Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
- 19th Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
- 20th Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
- 21st Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
- 22nd – Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich)
- 23rd – Andre Onana (Manchester United)
- 24th – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
- 25th – Josko Gvardiol (Man City)
- 26th – Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
- 27th – Nicola Barella (Inter Milan)
- = 28th – Randal Kolo Muani (Paris Saint Germain) and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
- 30th – Ruben Dias (Man City)
There were seven Man City players included in the rankings with five of them, Haaland, De Bruyne (4th), Rodri (5th), Julian Alvarez (7th) Bernardo Silva (9th) making the top ten.
And it was a big night for the Premier League champions, with the club also picking up the best team award.
Aitana Bonmati, meanwhile, claimed the women’s Ballon d’Or, after helping to guide Spain to World Cup glory in the summer, where she was named the player of the tournament after her epic performances.
The Barcelona midfielder also helped her club side clinch their fourth successive Liga F title, while also winning the women’s Champions League this year – their second European title in the last three seasons.
‘I’m very proud to win the Ballon d’Or,’ she said. ‘Football is a collective sport so I’d like to extend this prize to my team-mates and staff.
‘As role models we have a responsibility on and off the pitch.’ She added. ‘We should be more than athletes and keep leading by example and fighting together for a better, peaceful and equal world.’
‘Finally congratulations to the other nominees. They’re great footballers.’
Chelsea star Sam Kerr came second, while Barcelona stars Salma Paralluelo and Fridolina Rolfo came third and fourth.
England’s Lionesses Mary Earps and Rachel Daly made the top-ten, with the goalkeeper placing fifth, while Daly finished tenth.
Haaland, despite coming runner-up, didn’t go home empty-handed, claiming the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker, after his stunning 52-goal season, helping City win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
Speaking on his award, Haaland lauded his team-mates, when asked how he was so dangerous in front of goal last season.
‘It’s a mix between having amazing team-mates and an amazing club from the physios to the coaches it’s a good mix of a lot of teams,’ Haaland said.
Erling Haaland came second in the rankings after his excellent season helping Man City win the treble
Haaland didn’t go home empty handed though and was recognised for his 52-goal season in 2022-23 picking up the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker
Kylian Mbappe came third, after the France superstar lead his team to the final of the World Cup in 2022 – where he scored a hat-trick
Aitana Bonmati claimed the women’s Ballon d’Or, after helping to guide Spain to World Cup glory in the summer
Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson (R) and partner Lais Moraes and their son
Ivorian former football player and evening host Didier Drogba (L) and his partner Gabrielle Lemaire
Inter Milan’s Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez (R) and partner Agustina Gandolfo
FC Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan with wife Sara Arfaoui
Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior
Swedish player Amanda Ilestedt (L) and partner Rainer Mueller
r Emiliano Martinez, left, and his wife Amanda ‘Mandinha’ Martinez pose for a picture prior the 67th Ballon d’Or
Georgian international and Napoli player Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and wife Nitsa Tavadze
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva poses with wife Ines Tomaz
Barcelona goalkeeper and German international Marc-Andre ter Stegen and his wife Daniela ter Stegen
‘The passes I get from some of them sitting here tonight too. It’s a mix between a lot of things and I’m here to try to help the team.’
He was also asked by Drogba on whether he had any tips on how to score goals, and Haaland said: ‘I mean it’s my job so that’s why I’m here now because that’s what I’m good at.
‘My advice is to stay hungry and try and stay in the moment and to stay sharp.
‘You want to score and have this feeling, as I had quite a few times last season. And that’s why I want to do it more.’
Vinicius Jr claimed sixth place behind Rodri in the top-10 and was also presented with the Socrates award earlier in the night, in recognition of the work he has done away from the football pitch in fighting against racism.
Napoli Star Victor Osimhen, who scored a whopping 31 goals in 39 games for the Serie A outfit, placed eighth in the rankings, one spot ahead of Man City’s Silva.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric claimed the 10th spot in the rankings, narrowly edging Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who finished 11th, despite enjoying a stand-out 2022-23 season for the Reds, scoring 30 goals in 51 games.
Several big names from the Premier League were also named in the top-30 players, with Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard placing at 24th and 28th in the standings respectively.
He also beat Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, who finished 19th in the standings, despite scoring 32 goals last season.
Jude Bellingham, who masterminded Real Madrid’s 2-1 El Clasico win on Saturday, his first appearance in the derby, placed 18th in the standings, while also claiming the Kopa trophy for the best young player.
He also beat Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, who finished 19th in the standings, despite scoring 32 goals last season.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was ranked 15th in the standings, but there was controversy inside the auditorium, after the Argentina World Cup winner was presented with the Yashin award.
After his name was read out by Drogba, the goalkeeper was booed by fans inside the theatre as he walked to the stage, before the ex-Chelsea star stepped in asking fans to show some respect.
Barcelona star Ilkay Gundogan finished one place below him in 14th, while Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema also placed inside the top-20, finishing 16th.
Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham presented Messi with his award during the ceremony
Gary Lineker was also in attendance to deliver Haaland his award for best striker
Manchester City stars were ever-present throughout the evening, with the club also winning the men’s best-team award
And Barcelona’s women’s side also recognised, with president Joan Laporta picking up the best women’s team award
Tennis star Novak Djokovic was also present, after he was pictured at the Rugby World Cup final in Paris earlier this week
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