Lionel Messi will win a record-breaking eighth Ballon d’Or at the Paris presentation later this month.
The coveted prize will be presented on October 30 at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet, where Messi will make his comeback to the French capital a few months after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
Following his dramatic departure from Barcelona, the 36-year-old struggled to settle in Ligue 1, but he helped Les Parisiens win their second consecutive top-flight title last season, scoring 16 goals and providing 16 assists in 32 games.
No player had more assists in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season than Messi, who had 11 assists more than his nearest rivals Neymar and Jonathan Clauss, and the Argentine was crowned the division’s best foreign player and was also chosen to the Team of the Year.
Despite having four goals and four assists in seven Champions League games, Messi and PSG were eliminated in the last-16 by Bayern Munich. However, the forward ultimately conquered the world with Argentina at the fifth time of asking in Qatar.
La Albiceleste won their third World Cup after a 36-year wait, defeating France on penalties in the final. Messi received the Golden Ball as the competition’s top player after the win.
The Inter Miami forward became Qatar’s first player to win two Golden Balls. Hiis seven goals earned him the Silver Boot, trailing only Kylian Mbappe (eight).
Messi has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the 16th time, and the Argentine will reclaim the award, according to Sport.
The former Barcelona player has previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021. He will be the first player not playing for a European team to do so.
Lionel Messi | THE GOAT
Messi will go up against a slew of other renowned candidates, including Erling Haaland, who broke records left, right, and center during Manchester City’s memorable treble-winning season.
The Norwegian international set a new single-season Premier League goalscoring record with 36 goals in 35 games, as well as 12 goals in the Citizens’ first Champions League victory.
However, Haaland appears to have been controversially defeated by Messi, while six other Manchester City players, including Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri, have also been eliminated.
Messi’s former colleague Mbappe, as well as Jude Bellingham, Victor Osimhen, Harry Kane, and current holder Karim Benzema, were all contenders for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
In addition to Messi’s win, Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati received her first Ballon d’Or Feminin award as a result of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory.
Bonmati, like Messi, won the Golden Ball at this year’s Women’s World Cup. The 25-year-old also won the Champions League and Primera Division with La Blaugrana.