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Lionel Messi Wins Ballon dOr for the eighth time

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Messi’s remarkable achievement was celebrated at a lavish ceremony in Paris on October 30, where he was awarded the Ballon d’Or after an extraordinary 2022-23 season. This season saw him finally grasp the elusive World Cup trophy, a feat that had eluded him throughout his illustrious career. Winning the Golden Ball at Qatar 2022 as the tournament’s best player was a testament to his exceptional skills and influence on the field. In addition to his international triumph, Messi helped Paris Saint-Germain secure another Ligue 1 title, making him the top contender for the Ballon d’Or.

The world of football has witnessed history being made as Lionel Messi, the Argentine striker, has clinched his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in 2023. The Inter Miami forward, who also played for Paris Saint-Germain last season, captained Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last December, ending a 36-year wait for the South American country. At the age of 36, Messi has now won the prestigious award three times more than any other player, solidifying his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

While Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or win was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening, he faced fierce competition from other talented players, including Erling Haaland and former teammate Kylian Mbappe. The trio dominated the top ranks of the 25-man shortlist, but how did the rest of the candidates fare?

Official Rankings of the Top 25 Candidates:

Here’s a closer look at the official rankings of the top 25 candidates:

1.      Lionel Messi (Inter Miami): Ballon d’Or 2023

On very top of, the no #1 is Messi’s remarkable season, which included a World Cup triumph, solidified his legacy, earning him his eighth Ballon d’Or.

2.      Erling Haaland (Man City):

2nd Ranking goes to Haaland’s prolific goal-scoring for Manchester City played a vital role in their success, making him a strong contender.

3.      Kylian Mbappe (PSG):

In the place of 3rd ranking, Mbappe’s World Cup final hat-trick and stellar performance in Ligue 1 made him a formidable competitor for the award.

4.      Kevin De Bruyne (Man City):

Fourth, De Bruyne’s exceptional playmaking skills were crucial for Manchester City, contributing to their remarkable season.

5.      Rodri (Man City):

Fifth, Rodri’s versatility and outstanding performances made him one of Man City’s most important players.

6.      Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid):

Amazing no.6, Vinicius’ impressive goal and assist contributions established him as Real Madrid’s key player.

7.      Julian Alvarez (Man City:

Seventh ranking can only go to,  Alvarez as Argentina’s vital sidekick in their World Cup victory and continued to impress in the 2023-24 season.

8.      Victor Osimhen (Napoli):

Eighth,  Osimhen’s goal-scoring prowess in Serie A and the Champions League marked him as one of the rising stars.

9.      Bernardo Silva (Man City):

Ninth, Silva’s standout performance in the Champions League semi-final was a key moment for Manchester City.

10. Luka Modric (Real Madrid):

In the top 10, Modric’s masterful performances in the Champions League and the World Cup earned him a well-deserved nomination.

11. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool):

The eleventh position is saved by Mohamed Salah,  Despite posting his lowest goal total since 2020, Salah remained a prolific scorer with 30 goals in all competitions, playing a crucial role in keeping a struggling Liverpool side in the European competition picture.

12.  Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona):

Twelveth, Even during a season where he wasn’t at his best, Lewandowski managed to score 23 league goals, leading Barcelona to their first La Liga title in three years, showcasing his remarkable longevity.

13. Yassine Bounou (Al-Hilal):

 Thirteen, Bounou was instrumental in Morocco’s surprising 2022 World Cup run, and his heroic performance in the Europa League final helped Sevilla secure more European silverware.

14.  Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona):

 Fourteen, Stepping up when Erling Haaland had a rare cold spell, Gundogan played a crucial role for Barcelona. At the age of 33, he finally received the recognition he deserved for his consistent contributions.

15.  Emi Martinez (Aston Villa):

 Fifteen, Argentina’s World Cup victory was not just about Messi; Martinez made crucial saves in two penalty shootouts, including a memorable one-on-one stop against Kolo Muani in the final.

16.  Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad):

Despite an under-par season for Los Blancos, the 35-year-old striker still managed to score 19 goals in 24 La Liga starts, even bagging a memorable hat-trick against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final.

17.  Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli):

An unexpected rising star in 2022-23, Kvaratskhelia quickly established himself as one of Europe’s best left-wingers. His contributions were crucial in Napoli’s first Scudetto win in 33 years.

18.  Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid):

At just 20 years old, Bellingham was a standout for Dortmund, narrowly missing out on the Bundesliga title. His transition to Spain has been seamless, making him a promising candidate for future Ballon d’Or awards.

19.  Harry Kane (Bayern Munich):

Often considered the best No.9 in Europe after Erling Haaland, Kane had an outstanding season with 30 Premier League goals, despite the challenges at his previous club, Spurs.

20.  Lautaro Martinez (Inter):

A World Cup winner’s medal was a significant achievement, but Martinez’s contributions for Inter at the end of the season cemented his status as one of the campaign’s standout performers.

21. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid):

 Griezmann’s 31-goal contributions in La Liga alone made a strong case for him as one of the league’s best players last season.

22.  Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich):

A notable signing of the season, Kim’s defensive performances were integral to Napoli’s Serie A triumph. Under Thomas Tuchel at Bayern, he’s poised for further improvement.

23. Andre Onana (Manchester United):

On the third last,  Onana delivered numerous exceptional performances as Inter unexpectedly reached the Champions League final. Despite losing to Man City, he emerged as one of Europe’s top goalkeepers.

24.  Bukayo Saka (Arsenal):

 On the second last, A young talent on the rise, Saka played a significant role in Arsenal’s impressive leap from fifth to second in 2023. With 14 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League, he’s poised for a bright future.

25.  Josko Gvardiol (Man City):

In the last, Gvardiol shone for both Croatia and RB Leipzig in the 2022-23 season, earning a big-money move to Man City. His potential suggests even greater things to come.

Final Words: Ballon d’Or

While Lionel Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or is a testament to his enduring excellence and unmatched contributions to football, the competition was fierce in 2023. The rankings reflect the extraordinary talent and dedication of these players, each of whom has left an indelible mark on the sport. The Ballon d’Or continues to be a celebration of the world’s best footballers, and Messi’s latest triumph is a testament to his enduring greatness in the beautiful game.

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