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Lionel Messi Wins Record-Breaking 8th Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has won a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or, cementing his place as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Lionel Messi, the 36-year-old Argentine football maestro, has clinched his record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or, solidifying his status as one of the greatest footballers in history. 

This achievement places him three Ballons d’Or ahead of his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who secured his fifth trophy in 2017. 

Messi has remarkably finished among the top three in Ballon d’Or voting 14 times, and he has been the runner-up on five occasions.

Reflecting on a Remarkable Career:

Expressing his gratitude for the extraordinary journey he has had in the world of football, Messi shared, “I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had. Everything that I’ve achieved. 

The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. 

To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing.”

He added, “All of them (Ballon d’Or awards) are special for different reasons.”

Honoring Other Standout Performers:

Lionel Messi’s World Cup-winning teammate, Emiliano Martinez, was recognized with the Lev Yashin Award, acknowledging him as the world’s best goalkeeper. 

Additionally, Spain’s Women’s World Cup champion and Barcelona midfielder, Aitana Bonmati, received the women’s Ballon d’Or.

Overcoming Stiff Competition:

Erling Haaland, the 23-year-old Norwegian striker, was considered one of the favorites for his first Ballon d’Or after an outstanding season in which he scored 52 goals in 53 matches across all competitions, helping Manchester City secure the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup. 

However, Messi’s spectacular performance at the World Cup in Qatar, where he received the Golden Ball for the best overall player and the Silver Boot (for seven goals and three assists), allowed him to claim the award.

Completing the Trophy Collection:

The World Cup victory had been the only major trophy missing from Lionel Messi’s illustrious career, and Argentina’s triumphant run in Qatar served as a fitting response to their 2014 World Cup final defeat to Germany. 

Additionally, in March, Messi became only the third player in history to reach the milestone of scoring 100 international goals. 

Before moving to Inter Miami, Messi also secured the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain and contributed to the Major League Soccer side’s victory in the Leagues Cup, their first major trophy.

Acknowledging Young Talent and Humanitarian Contributions:

Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham was honored with the Kopa Trophy for being the best Under-21 player. 

At the same time, his club teammate, Vinicius Jr., received the Socrates Award for his noteworthy humanitarian work off the pitch.

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