Lionel Messi proves he’s world’s greatest footballer with eighth Ballon d’Or win

By Vicki Newman
lionel messi in argentina football strip close up

Lionel Messi has been named the best football player of the year for a record-breaking eighth time after taking home the esteemed Ballon d'Or.

The Argentinian was handed the prestigious award tonight at a ceremony in France, extending his record for most wins of the Ballon d’Or.

The 36-year-old, who captains his national team as well as David Beckham’s Inter Miami, has held this record title since 2012.

Back then, he shared it with Johan Cruyff (Netherlands), Michael Platini (France) and Marco van Basten (Netherlands), who had each won three times.

Messi claimed the record for himself the following year when he won for a fourth time and has held on to it ever since by winning again in 2016, 2019, 2021 and now again in 2023.

The Ballon d’Or honours the best player of the previous year and is one of the most prestigious awards handed to individual players.

It’s one of just many honours Messi has earned throughout his illustrious career.

The player was one of 30 men nominated, beating the likes of England’s Harry Kane, Norway's Erling Haaland and Spain’s Rodri to the prize.

Messi lifted the World Cup with his team in 2022 and a picture gallery he posted to his 490 million followers on Instagram earned him another Guinness World Records title.

His post, led with a picture of him holding the golden trophy above his head, is the most liked image post on Instagram.

At the time of writing, the post has been liked by 75,650,230 people.

He captioned it: “CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!”

He also thanked his family and supporters for believing in him and his team.

But that’s just one more of the dozens of world records Messi holds.

To name just a few, he has records for the most FIFA World Cup matches played in by an individual with 26, the most hat-tricks in a La Liga career with 36 and he became the youngest player to score 50 goals in the UEFA Champions League in 2012 when he was 24.

Messi also has the most goals in a career for a single football (soccer) club after hitting the back of the net an incredible 672 times for FC Barcelona between 2005 and 2021.

He’s also been named Man of the Match in six World Cup finals, meaning he shares the record for most Man of the Match awards won at the FIFA World Cup finals (male) with Arjen Robben (Netherlands) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).

Whether or not you agree that Messi is the footballing GOAT, we can all agree he’s Officially Amazing.

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