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“Mbappe and Haaland will win one day the Ballon d’Or” – Messi

"Mbappe and Haaland will win one day the Ballon d’Or" - Messi

Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time in his career at a star-studded ceremony in Paris on Monday. The 36-year-old also named Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe in his speech and said he is sure they too will win the Ballon d’Or one day.

Messi, 36, succeeds Karim Benzema as winner of the prize, awarded for his performances last season, when he inspired Argentina to glory at the World Cup.

“It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream. I couldn’t imagine having the career I’ve had and everything I’ve achieved, the fortune I’ve had to be part of the best team in history,” he said.

“To win the Copa America and to get the World Cup after all those difficult moments in the national teams,” Messi added.

It was his displays in Qatar, when Messi dragged his country to a victory that crowned his remarkable career, that allowed Messi to see off stiff competition from Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in particular.

Haaland came second in the final voting, with Mbappe third and Kevin De Bruyne in fourth place. However, the Argentinian star did not forget the other two 2023 Ballon d’Or contenders and praised them, saying that one day they could win the same trophy.

“Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland will win one day the Ballon d’Or. Erling [Haaland] deserved it very much too, he has won Premier League, Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. Mbappe too. I am sure in the next years you will win it,” he claimed.

His old PSG teammate Mbappe made his case with his remarkable performances at the World Cup, which he finished as the top scorer on eight goals after netting a hat-trick in the final for France.

Norway striker Haaland scored an incredible 52 goals in 53 games for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side won the treble of English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. He and De Bruyne were among members of that City team who were nominated.



Messi becomes first to win Ballon d’Or without playing in Europe


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Samuel Kwame Boadu