For the eighth time in his fantastic career, Lionel Messi emerged victorious at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. Following an epic World Cup win with Argentina, the 36-year-old was chosen as the best player of the 2022-23 season.

Only a few days after the event, France Football how journalists from different countries have voted. Messi was in the top five list from every country except for Cameroon, Cape Verde, Guinea, Jordan, Switzerland and El Salvador.

However, this didn’t prevent Messi from taking home the award. With 462 points, Leo took down the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. The Manchester City star finished second with 357 points, whereas the PSG star got 270 points.

Kevin De Bruyne finished in fourth place with 100 points, followed by Rodri (57 points), Vinicius Junior (49 points), Julian Alvarez (28 points), Victor Osimhen (24 points), Bernardo Silva (20 points), and Luka Modric (19 points).

Lionel Messi at the 2023 Ballon d’Or gala

Lionel Messi at the 2023 Ballon d’Or gala

Lionel Messi admitted Haaland could’ve beaten him

In the months prior to the Ballon d’Or gala, the biggest debate in world soccer was whether Messi or Haaland was the best player of the season. While Leo took Argentina to World Cup glory, the Norwegian striker scored 52 goals for the Citizens.

Erling deserved it very much too, he has won Premier League, Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. This award could have been yours today too. I’m sure in the next years you will win it,” Messi said in his acceptance speech.

Haaland enjoyed a fantastic first season in England, helping Manchester City win the treble (Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup) for the first time. He joined Pep Guardiola’s team in the summer of 2022 following an incredible stint with Borussia Dortmund.

Messi didn’t have such a great season with Paris Saint-Germain, but the World Cup made him the strongest favorite for the Ballon d’Or. With seven goals in as many games, the former Barcelona star was instrumental in Argentina’s first success since 1986, when Diego Maradona took the country to glory in Mexico.

Messi thinks this may have been his last Ballon d’Or

Not only did he praise both Haaland and Mbappe, Messi also admitted he doesn’t see himself in the Ballon d’Or podium in the future. A new generation of players is taking center stage and Leo is fine with that.

SURVEY Will Messi win another Ballon d\'Or?

Will Messi win another Ballon d\'Or?


If I dream for the ninth Ballon d’Or? No, no, I stopped thinking about the Ballon d’Or a while ago, and winning it was never a priority for me, especially now that I have achieved everything in my career. I think it’s the last Ballon d’Or and I’m happy to have achieved everything and be the player with 8 Ballon d’Ors,” he told L’Equipe.

At 36, Messi has already won the biggest prizes any soccer player could dream of. World Cup, Champions Leagues, Copa America, Ballon d’Ors… It’s safe to say Messi has completed soccer.