THE GOAT | Lionel Messi
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Lionel Messi has won his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy after leading Argentina to World Cup victory in 2022.
Because of a change in the voting criteria in 2022, the judging period now focuses on the previous season, in this case 2022/23, rather than the calendar year.
That change ensured Messi’s contribution in Qatar was decisive following a low-key end to his time at Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi is enjoying his new chapter at Inter Miami. However, it’s all his performances for Argentina that have earned him his first Ballon d’Or since 2021.
The 36-year-old is already the most successful player in the award’s history, but 2023 is almost certainly his last.
Ballon d’Or rules prohibit players registered to non-European clubs from being nominated during the entire assessed period, so Messi is likely to remain in the United States or return to Argentina.
His long-term goal is to play in the 2026 World Cup, but that will be contingent on his match fitness by the time the tournament arrives.
Lionel Messi AKA THE GOAT