Lionel Messi is the winner of the Ballon d’Or 2023, making it his eighth time clinching the award. The ceremony was held on Monday, October 30, 2023, in Paris, France. The Argentine forward beat Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, and Jude Bellingham to claim the award.
This is despite Haaland’s treble-winning campaign for English club Manchester City, winning the Premier League Golden Boot and the UEFA Champions League Top Scorer Award. Interestingly, this was not enough for the 22-year-old Norwegian international to win the Ballon d’Or. However, he won the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best goal scorer over the 2022–23 season.
Messi’s victory comes after a stellar year in which he led Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1986. In addition to this, he was instrumental in winning the 2022–23 Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) league campaign.
Messi’s previous Ballon d’Or wins came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021. Remarkably, he is now the only player in history to have won the award eight times. He is also the first man to win it while playing for three different clubs: Barcelona, PSG, and Inter Miami.
In his acceptance speech, Messi thanked his teammates, coaches, and family for their support. He also dedicated the award to the people of Argentina.
Messi’s victory is a testament to his incredible talent. He is one of the greatest football players of all time, and he continues to perform at a high level even at the age of 36.
Below is the list of the nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or:
Ballon d’Or 2023: Nominees
- Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig and Manchester City)
- Andre Onana (Inter Milan and Manchester United)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and Al-Ittihad)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
- Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
- Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt and Paris Saint-Germain)
- Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
- Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
- Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
- Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
- Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
- Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City and Barcelona)
- Yassine Bounou (Sevilla and Al-Hilal)
- Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
- Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
- Rodrigo (Manchester City)
- Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Miami)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
- Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
- Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
- Kim Min-jae (Napoli and Bayern Munich)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-German)
- Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham and Bayern Munich)