Lionel Messi has made history after claiming a record eighth Ballon d’Or after he was announced as the 2023 winner at Monday’s ceremony in Paris.
Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory last December, won ahead of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and ex-PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe.
The 36-year-old has a record eight Ballon d’Ors to his name, alongside five runners-up. Cristiano Ronaldo is next best with five Ballon d’Ors and six second-place finishes.
The award recognised the best footballers in the 2022-23 season from August 1 2002 to July 31 2023, having been nominated on September 6 2023.
Messi’s World Cup triumph stood out, along with helping Paris Saint-Germain lift the French Ligue 1 title, scoring 21 goals in all competitions for the Parisiens.
The Argentine has since exited Paris, joining MLS club Inter Miami in July, close to the end of the Ballon d’Or voting period.
Haaland was unlucky to miss out after a record-breaking Premier League campaign where he netted a league record 36 times, adding towards his 52-goal season tally in all competitions, including 12 in the UEFA Champions League.
City, who won the Champions League as well as the Premier League and FA Cup crowns, had five players finish inside the top 10; Haaland, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva.
Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati won the Ballon d’Or Feminin after helping Spain win the 2023 Women’s World Cup, edging out Australia’s Sam Kerr.
In other awards, Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for best male player under the age of 21, while Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez claimed the Yashin Trophy, Haaland was crowned the Gerd Muller Trophy winner and Vinicius Junior earned the Socrates Award.