Lionel Messi Wins Record-Extending 8th Ballon d’Or, now becomes highest individual Ballon d’OR winner in Football History:
Argentine football legend Lionel Messi etched his name deeper into the history books on Monday by winning a record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player in 2022. The 36-year-old superstar added to his staggering collection of individual honors after captaining Argentina to victory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last December.
Messi played a pivotal role throughout Argentina’s World Cup campaign, scoring 7 goals and providing 3 assists over the course of the tournament. This included scoring twice in the dramatic final against France, along with converting his penalty kick in the shootout. His stellar performances earned him the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.
By leading his country to their first World Cup title since 1986 and the third overall, Messi finally achieved the last major trophy missing from his illustrious career resume. He had previously finished runner-up with Argentina at the 2014 World Cup.
Leo Messi won the Ballon d’Or over Erling Haaland by 105 points.
Leo Messi – 462 points
Erling Haaland – 357 points
…here full list of votes country by country! ️
South Africa: Messi
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 4, 2023
The World Cup triumph came after Messi also captained Argentina to the Copa America title in 2021, their first since 1993. Between the club and international level, Messi has cemented his place as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Messi claimed this 8th Ballon d’Or award while playing for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, having joined the club earlier this year from Paris St-Germain. He spent the majority of his club career with Barcelona, where he emerged as a superstar while winning countless trophies and setting goalscoring records that may never be broken.
For this year’s Ballon d’Or, Messi beat out Manchester City striker Erling Haaland by 105 points, who scored an astounding 52 goals across all club competitions last season. Haaland was awarded the Gerd Müller Trophy as the top goal scorer in European football for his efforts.
At 36 years and 4 months old, Messi became the second oldest winner of the Ballon d’Or behind only the inaugural 1956 winner Stanley Matthews. Cristiano Ronaldo, winner of 5 Ballon d’Or trophies, still remains Messi’s closest competitor for the all-time record.
Other major awards handed out included the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper to Argentina’s World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez. Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati claimed the women’s Ballon d’Or. England youngster Jude Bellingham took home the Kopa Trophy for best under-21 player after his standout campaign with Borussia Dortmund.
By adding an 8th Ballon d’Or to his overflowing trophy cabinet, the legendary Lionel Messi continues to affirm his status as one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. His enduring excellence and phenomenal 2022 World Cup performance at 36 years old is a testament to his otherworldly talent and place among football’s immortals.