Messi Crowned World's Best Player Again with Eighth Ballon D'Or

Lionel Messi was crowned the world's best player for a record-breaking eighth time on Monday night, winning the 2023 Ballon d'Or award.

The Argentine superstar, who now plays for Inter Miami in MLS, captained his country to World Cup glory in Qatar last year, ending a 36-year wait for La Albiceleste. Messi also had a stellar season at club level, winning the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain and scoring 21 goals in 41 appearances.

Messi beat off competition from Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe to win the award. He finished second in the top goalscorer charts at the World Cup with seven goals, and was named player of the tournament for his outstanding performances.

"Thank you very much, to share this with my national team-mates for what we were able to achieve with the national team," Messi said in his acceptance speech. "The entire group, the coaching staff, everyone involved. I'm delighted to be here once more to be able to enjoy this moment one more time."

Messi also paid tribute to Diego Maradona, saying: "To finish, I want to say happy birthday to Diego Maradona."

After his contract at PSG ran out in the summer, Messi moved to Inter Miami in MLS on a free transfer and was one of three players nominated for the award who do not currently play in Europe.

The former Barcelona forward spent 17 years with the Spanish club between 2004 and 2021 and also won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. He was 22 years old when he won his first in 2009 and 14 years later has sealed a record eighth award.

Messi's eighth Ballon d'Or award is a testament to his incredible dominance of the game over the past decade. He is now the outright all-time leader in the award's history, and his achievements are unlikely to be matched by any other player anytime soon.

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