Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d’Or 2023 award beating Erling Haaland to the coveted prize

Lionel Messi has clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or title, winning the men’s award at the 2023 ceremony following his outstanding season for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina. 

Before moving to Inter Miami in the summer, the 36-year-old masterminded Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory, scoring twice during the final in Qatar, while also scoring during a penalty shoot-out, to help the team defeat 2018 winners France.

He also scored a whopping 32 goals in 55 games across all competitions for PSG, to help the side clinch the Ligue 1 title. 

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.’

Didier Drogba, who was leading the ceremony, asked if this Ballon d’Or was more special, considering it came from winning the 2022 World Cup, to which the 36-year-old replied: ‘They’re all special.’

He added: ‘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.

‘To win the Copa America and to get the World Cup after all those difficult moments in the national teams,’ continues Messi.’

Speaking on Messi, Beckham said: ‘It’s very special to say he’s a Miami player and he’s in our city. He’ll celebrate this with his team-mates and his family in his way. 

‘We’ll do our best to celebrate it in the Miami way. I’m sure we can do a good party.’ 

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.  

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. 

Haaland, despite coming runner-up, didn’t go home empty handed, claiming the Gerd Müller 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. 

‘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 aslo 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, with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah finishing 11th, narrowly missing out on the top-ten despite enjoying a stand-out 2022-23 season for Liverpool, 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, while Manchester United’s Andre Onana, following on from his excellent performance against Man City on Sunday ranked 23rd. 

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.  

More to follow… 

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)

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