The 2023 Ballon d’Or was set to be a fierce battle between 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning captain from Argentina Lionel Messi and continental treble-winning forward from Manchester City Erling Haaland. Nonetheless, recent sources told everyone that the La Albiceleste and Inter Miami player has already won the 2023 Ballon d’Or, making it a record eighth time that the 36-year-old forward had won the prestigious award. Apart from edging out Haaland, who had 71 goal contributions (61 goals and 10 assist) for club and country last season, Messi also overcame his former Paris Saint-Germain strike partner and newly promoted French captain Kylian Mbappé on his way to secure his eighth Ballon d’Or.
A Record Eighth Ballon d’Or Win for La Pulga
The 2023 Ballon d’Or award judges players based on their club and country performances in the 2022/2023 football season, in which the timeline started from 1st August 2022 and ended on 31st July 2023. Based on this period of time, La Pulga provided a total of 51 goal contributions (23 goals and 28 assists) in all competitions for club and country, winning a couple of major silverwares for his country Argentina and ex-club Paris Saint-Germain, including the all-important 2022 FIFA World Cup win in Qatar as well as the French Ligue 1 title last December and last June respectively.
On the other hand, the player whom Messi overcame to win his eighth Ballon d’Or is none other than Haaland, who had a more-than-impressive first season with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. With his sublime 52 goals in 53 games for the Cityzens, Pep’s team were able to capture all the major trophies available in the 2022/2023 Season, namely the English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League as well as the FA Cup, making the Blue Side of Manchester the second ever English club to attain the unparalleled feat.
As for the case of Mbappé’s, the 24-year-old had 41 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain last season, winning the league title as a result. Furthermore, he led then-defending FIFA World Cup champions France to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final with his eight goals in the quadrennial tournament, including the second ever hat-trick scored in the finale, making him the undisputed Golden Boot winner.
Further Cleared of Ronaldo for Ballon d’Or Wins
The 2023 Ballon d’Or not only let Messi extend his record most awards in the prestigious ceremony, his eighth honour in the history of the Ballon d’Or will also put a wider distance between him and eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the most wins in the individual title; The 38-year-old Portugal national football team captain and all-time leading goal scorer of men’s international football will be three Ballon d’Ors behind the Argentina and Inter Miami captain by the end of this month, having won five crowns back in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Furthermore, when Messi picks up his eighth Ballon d’Or less than two weeks from now, it will be the first time in history where a player wins the glittering award when playing outside the European continent, since the 36-year-old La Albiceleste skipper is currently captaining David Beckham’s Major League Soccer side Inter Miami after completing his transfer from PSG to the American side last June; The Ballon d’Or was originally an honour given to the best performing player playing in Europe, but has since then extended to every part of the world in 2007.
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Is FIFA Rigged for Awarding Messi His Eighth Ballon d’Or?
Since the nominees of the 2023 Ballon d’Or and news of Messi winning his eighth crown in this year’s award have been announced, many pundits, players and fans have taken to various platforms to express their opinions, in which a substantial number of these discussions voiced about whether Messi deserve to win it later this month.
These dissatisfactions raised largely due to many controversies happened during the winter FIFA World Cup last year, where Messi was given five penalties (Most of them were 50-50 situations) throughout the tournament and not sent off during the semifinal match against Netherlands; Against Louis van Gaal’s side, the 36-year-old infamously slapped the ball early in the second half, but was not penalised for his actions, and the potential yellow card would have seen him red-carded due to a second yellow in the stoppage time, meaning Argentina were to head into the extra time period with a man down.
In light of these incidents, we at OtherLeague.com would like to know if you think Messi is the rightful winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or award. If the answer is no, please tell us in the comment section below on the reason as well as your preferred / ideal winner for the ceremony this time around.
The 2023 Golden Boy to Be Won by Bellingham or Musiala?
Apart from the 2023 Ballon d’Or award ceremony, spectators also look forward to see who will bag home the 2023 Golden Boy this December. The individual honour will be crowned to the best young male player in the past calendar year of 2023, and the final list of 20 nominees has also been released earlier this week.
Pundits and experts have been discussing about who will succeed Spain’s and Barcelona’s 19-year-old midfielder Gavi as the new winner of the Golden Boy, and we would like to make a bold prediction that it will happen between England’s and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham or Germany’s and Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala. If you are interested to know about the nitty-gritty of the 2023 Golden Boy award thus far, we have all the information covered in this article. Check it out right away!