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Lionel Messi wins record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi wins record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or
© Reuters
Inter Miami and Argentina attacker Lionel Messi wins a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the accolade.

Inter Miami and Argentina attacker Lionel Messi has won a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or award at Monday's ceremony in Paris.

The 36-year-old - who collected the honour from Herons co-owner David Beckham - adds the 2023 accolade to his previous awards from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021 after spearheading Argentina's charge to their third World Cup title in Qatar.

With seven goals and three assists at the 2022 tournament, Messi took home the Golden Ball, becoming the first-ever player to win the prize on more than one occasion, as well as finishing second in the Golden Boot race behind Kylian Mbappe.

Alongside his long-awaited taste of World Cup stardom, the 36-year-old came up with 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 appearances during his second and final season with Paris Saint-Germain, including a division-high 16 Ligue 1 assists en route to the Ligue 1 title.

Alongside Messi on the podium were Manchester City's Erling Haaland, who finished second behind the former Barcelona man, and his ex-PSG teammate Mbappe in third place.

Prior to Messi's eighth coronation, the Ballon d'or Feminin - presented by world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic - went to Barcelona Women's and Spain Women's Aitana Bonmati, who formed a fundamental part of La Roja's World Cup-winning crop in 2023.

Barcelona Women midfielder Aitana Bonmati with the Ballon d'Or Feminin on October 30, 2023© Reuters

The 25-year-old midfielder registered three goals and two assists in seven World Cup starts for Spain, winning the Golden Ball as the tournament's best performer, while also recording a staggering set of numbers in her double-winning campaign with Barcelona.

Bonmati ended the 2022-23 La Liga season with nine goals and 10 assists from 23 matches, in addition to scoring five times and setting up eight more goals in 11 Champions League outings.

The Spaniard succeeds compatriot Alexia Putellas as the Ballon d'Or Feminin holder, while Chelsea's Samantha Kerr came in at second place, with Bonmati's Barcelona teammate Salma Paralluelo in third.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham took home the Kopa Trophy for the best Under-21 player, fending off Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala and Barcelona's Pedri to win the award for the first time.

Bellingham's 2022-23 season saw the 20-year-old spearhead Dortmund's Bundesliga title charge with eight goals and five assists in 31 games, but Edin Terzic's side were left crestfallen after losing the crown to Bayern on goal difference.

The former Birmingham City youngster also became the first English teenager to score in four successive Champions League games, while netting once and providing one assist during England's run to the World Cup quarter-finals.

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham wins the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d'Or awards on October 30, 2023© Reuters

Bellingham - who is also expected to take home the Golden Boy prize in December - becomes the first English winner of the Kopa Trophy, two years after finishing as runner-up to Pedri in 2021.

The Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper was awarded to Argentina and Aston Villa shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez, who took home the Golden Glove during La Albiceleste's run to 2022 World Cup glory.

The former Arsenal man - who was also named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2022 - made a crucial last-minute save to deny Randal Kolo Muani in the final, before also thwarting Kingsley Coman during the penalty shootout.

At club level, Martinez kept 13 clean sheets in 36 Premier League games for Aston Villa to help the Lions qualify for the Europa Conference League, and he becomes the fourth recipient of the Yashin Trophy after Alisson, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Thibaut Courtois.

Elsewhere, Manchester City were named the men's Club of the Year on the back of their historic treble success in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, following in the footsteps of Manchester United's 1998-99 troupe, while La Liga and Women's Champions League holders Barcelona took home the Women's Club of the Year honour.

Haaland was presented with the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker, having amassed an astonishing 68 goals in 54 games for club and country, while Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior was presented with the Socrates Award for his charity work with Vini Jr Institute - which uses technology to help educate Brazilian children from poor backgrounds - and his efforts in the fight against racism.


2023 BALLON D'OR RANKINGS IN FULL

Men's Ballon d'Or:

1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami/Paris Saint-Germain)
2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
3. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
4. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
5. Rodri (Manchester City)
6. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
7. Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
8. Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
10. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Ballon d'Or Feminin:

1. Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)
2. Samantha Kerr (Chelsea)
3. Salma Paralluelo (Barcelona)
4. Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona)
5. Mary Earps (Manchester United
6. Olga Carmona (Barcelona)
7. Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)
8. Patricia Guijarro (Barcelona)
9. Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid)
10. Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)

Kopa Trophy:

1. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund/Real Madrid)
2. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
3. Pedri (Barcelona)
4. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)
5. Gavi (Barcelona)
6. Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven/Paris Saint-Germain/RB Leipzig)
7. Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)
8. Antonio Silva (Benfica)
9. Rasmus Hojlund (Atalanta BC/Manchester United)
9. Elye Wahi (Montpellier HSC/Lens)

Yashin Award:

1. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
2. Ederson (Manchester City)
3. Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Al-Hilal)
4. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
5. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
6. Andre Onana (Inter Milan/Manchester United)
7. Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb/Fenerbahce)
8. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
9. Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
10. Brice Samba (Lens)

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