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

Messi becomes first to win Ballon d'Or without playing in Europe
Inter Miami’s Leo Messi, who added his 8th Ballon d’Or to his trophy cabinet, achieved a historic milestone by winning the individual award. He became the first player to win the award without currently playing in European football.

 

Many were already expecting Messi to win his 8th Ballon d’Or and this was confirmed at 22:30 (CET time). Leo, who had not lifted the award since 2021, succeeded Karim Benzema, winner of the 2022 edition.

The Rosarino once again won the top individual award and further distanced himself from Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five, with whom he competed head-to-head for the award while both were playing for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Both are now playing outside Europe and there is no longer any sign of the Portuguese at the gala, unlike the Rosarino. Messi continues to be among the best players in world football, in the midst of a battle between Haaland and Mbappe, the two who look set to shape the next few years of football.

The current Inter Miami player, who won his club’s first ever title a few months ago, has achieved a historic milestone by winning the Ballon d’Or. He has become the first player to win the award without currently playing in Europe.

Furthermore, ‘La Pulga’ is the first player since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the award after winning a World Cup. The Italian emerged as the winner on that occasion after winning the World Cup in Germany.

Messi thus adds a new Ballon d’Or to his trophy cabinet: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2019, 2021 and 2023. As fate would have it, his new consecration took place on the same day as Maradona’s 63rd birthday.

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Samuel Kwame Boadu

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