Only months after receiving the accolade, Lionel Messi has reportedly given away his 8th Ballon d’Or. According to Spanish journalist Miquel Blázquez, the Argentine star let Barcelona have it in their museum.

Even though his last award came while playing for PSG and Inter Miami, Messi allows Barça to display it next to the seven Ballon d’Ors he had won during his time at Camp Nou and are already exhibited at the club’s museum.

Messi spent 21 memorable years at the Catalan club, who acquired him as a 13-year-old promise from Newell’s Old Boys. Eventually, Leo made all the way to the first team, becoming one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Most of his 57 individual honors came as a Barcelona player, as Messi spent most of his career at Camp Nou. The Argentine international left Spain in 2021 in a confusing turn of events, with the Blaugrana apparently unable to register him in LaLiga amid a terrible financial crisis at the club.

While that was not the kind of departure a legend of his size deserved, Messi’s bond with Barcelona is unbreakable and his latest gesture proves it. He may have won the 8th Ballon d’Or elsewhere, but Barça still hold a special place in his heart.

The 8 Ballon d’Ors won by Messi

Messi set the record for the most Ballon d’Or wins by any player in soccer history, and he’s way above the second player on the list. Cristiano Ronaldo challenged him for many years, but now his five awards are shy of Messi’s eight Ballon d’Ors.

The Portuguese star won it first in 2008, but only a year later, the Argentine started got his hands on the prize too. In 2009, Messi played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s sextuple, which is why he was recognized with the maximum individual honor.

The Rosario-born winger retained the prize in the next three years, emerging victorious in 2010, 2011, and 2012. His fifth Ballon d’Or came in 2015, after winning his fourth and so far last Champions League with Barcelona.

With 50 goals in the year, Messi was once again the winner in 2019. His seventh success in 2021 sparked controversy as Robert Lewandowski also had a great season, but Messi got the upper hand by 33 votes.

After being snubbed from the 30-man shortlist in 2022, Messi went on to win the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina. That feat saw him get the edge in the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony, extending his collection of awards to eight.