Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, stands on the cusp of making history again. As the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony approaches on October 30 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, the football world is buzzing with anticipation. Could Messi clinch his record-setting eighth Ballon d'Or award?
The 36-year-old Argentine is flying high in his new MLS adventure with Beckham's side, Inter Miami. The iconic #10 already has 11 goals and five assists in 11 matches, leading the Herons to their first club trophy with the Leagues Cup.
But the 2023 Ballon d'Or will be assessed based on his performances last season (not calendar year), a campaign that saw him win the World Cup. The GOAT scored seven goals and notched three assists on his way to securing the Golden Ball. He also secured the Ligue 1 trophy with PSG.
How many Ballon d'Or trophies has Messi won?
Lionel Messi's seven Ballon d'Or titles chart a career of unparalleled excellence. Beginning with his first win in 2009, Messi set the stage for a decade of dominance that saw him pick up three consecutive awards until 2012.
After a brief hiatus, aka Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi reclaimed the prize in 2015. The Argentinian maestro's most recent triumph in 2021 was particularly noteworthy after his historic move to Paris Saint-Germain and an impressive Copa America win with Argentina.
As the 2023 ceremony approaches, the world watches with bated breath to see if he can secure an unprecedented eighth title. It could also be the first time the Ballon d'Or has been awarded to a player in the MLS. 🤯
Chances Messi wins the Ballon d'Or this year?
While the odds favor Messi's record-setting eighth Ballon d'Or, he'll have to beat out Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland. Haaland recorded unreal numbers last season (52 in 53 matches 🤖), breaking the Premier League record for most goals (36). The Golden Boot winner also notched a treble for Manchester City, including the FA Cup, EPL title, and Champions League trophy.
Should Haaland nick the award, he'll be the first Premier League player in fifteen years to win the prize. The last one went to none other than Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.
What is the Ballon d'Or, and how does one win?
The Ballon d'Or is the ultimate individual accolade in football, presented annually by France Football magazine since 1956. Initially only for European players, the eligibility now extends globally. One hundred journalists from FIFA's top 100 nations cast their votes to determine the male or female player they consider the best over the previous calendar year.
Winning the Ballon d'Or involves more than just exceptional skill on the pitch. Journalists evaluate contenders based on many factors, including individual brilliance, technical ability (read: goals and assists), achievements during the year, and contributions to team success. Players who excel in these areas and lead their teams to victories in significant tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup or UEFA Champions League, often have a better chance of securing this prestigious award.
The ceremony typically unfolds in Paris, serving as a global platform to celebrate the best talents in football.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ank Kumar