Lionel Messi of Argentina has won the 2023 Ballon d’Or, setting a new record for the champion of the 2022 World Cup.
The Inter Miami player was crowned the recipient of the prestigious award on Monday night in Paris, France, in what many regard as a suitable reward after leading the Abiscelete to a World Cup victory late last year.
Messi, 36, succeeds Karim Benzema as the winner of the award for his performances last season, when he led Argentina to World Cup glory.
Messi was able to see off heavy competition from Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in especially thanks to his performances in Qatar, where he carried his side to a victory that capped his extraordinary career.
In the end, Haaland finished second, Mbappe third, and Kevin De Bruyne fourth.
Messi, a former Barcelona great, scored seven goals and was crowned the World Cup’s best player when Argentina defeated France on penalties in the final in Doha.
However, Messi, who won his first Ballon d’Or in 2009, had a disappointing final season at Paris Saint-Germain before joining Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.
Mbappe, his former PSG teammate, made his case with his outstanding exploits at the World Cup, where he finished as the top scorer with eight goals, including 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.