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Lionel Messi has clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or title, winning the men’s award at the 2023 ceremony following his outstanding season leading Argentina to World Cup glory.

Before moving to Inter Miami in the summer, the 36-year-old masterminded Argentina’s victory in Qatar, scoring twice during the final, while also finding the back of the net during a penalty shoot-out, to help the team defeat 2018 winners France.

He also scored a whopping 32 goals in 55 games across all competitions for PSG, to help the side clinch the Ligue 1 title.

‘It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment,’ said Messi. ‘To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream.’

Didier Drogba, who was leading the ceremony, asked if this Ballon d’Or was more special, considering it came from winning the 2022 World Cup, to which the 36-year-old replied: ‘They’re all special.’

He added: ‘I couldn’t imagine having the career I’ve had and everything I’ve achieved, the fortune I’ve had to be part of the best team in history.

‘To win the Copa America and to get the World Cup after all those difficult moments in the national teams,’ continues Messi.’

The four-time champions league winner beat some tough competition to claim first place, with Erling Haaland coming in second, Kylian Mbappe coming in third and Kevin De Bruyne ranking fourth.

There were seven Man City players included in the rankings with five of them, Haaland, De Bruyne (4th), Rodri (5th), Julian Alvarez (7th) Bernardo Silva (9th) making the top ten.

And it was a big night for the Premier League champions, with the club also picking up the best team award.

Aitana Bonmati, meanwhile, claimed the women’s Ballon d’Or, after helping to guide Spain to World Cup glory in the summer, where she was named the player of the tournament after her epic performances.

The Barcelona midfielder also helped her club side clinch their fourth successive Liga F title, while also winning the women’s Champions League this year – their second European title in the last three seasons.

Chelsea star Sam Kerr came second, while Barcelona stars Salma Paralluelo and Fridolina Rolfo came third and fourth.

England’s Lionesses Mary Earps and Rachel Daly made the top-ten, with the goalkeeper placing fifth, while Daly finished tenth.

Haaland, despite coming runner-up, didn’t go home empty-handed, claiming the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker, after his stunning 52-goal season, helping City win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Vinicius Jr claimed sixth place behind Rodri in the top-10 and was also presented with the Socrates award earlier in the night, in recognition of the work he has done away from the football pitch in fighting against racism.

Napoli Star Victor Osimhen, who scored a whopping 31 goals in 39 games for the Serie A outfit, placed eighth in the rankings, one spot ahead of Man City’s Silva.

Real Madrid’s Luka Modric claimed the 10th spot in the rankings, narrowly edging Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who finished 11th, despite enjoying a stand-out 2022-23 season for the Reds, scoring 30 goals in 51 games.

Several big names from the Premier League were also named in the top-30 players, with Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard placing at 24th and 28th in the standings respectively.

He also beat Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, who finished 19th in the standings, despite scoring 32 goals last season.

Jude Bellingham, who masterminded Real Madrid’s 2-1 El Clasico win on Saturday, his first appearance in the derby, placed 18th in the standings, while also claiming the Kopa trophy for the best young player.

Barcelona star Ilkay Gundogan finished one place below him in 14th, while Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema also placed inside the top-20, finishing 16th.

2023 Ballon d’Or rankings

  • 1st Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
  • 2nd Erling Haaland (Man City)
  • 3rd Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
  • 4th Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
  • 5th Rodri (Man City)
  • 6th Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
  • 7th Julian Alvarez (Man City)
  • 8th Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
  • 9th Bernardo Silva (Man City)
  • 10th Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • 11th Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  • 13th Yassine Bounou (Al-Hilal)
  • 14th Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona)
  • 15th Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
  • 16th Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad)
  • 17th Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
  • 18th Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
  • 19th Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
  • 20th Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
  • 21st Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
  • 22nd – Kim Min-Jae (Bayern Munich)
  • 23rd – Andre Onana (Manchester United)
  • 24th – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
  • 25th – Josko Gvardiol (Man City)
  • 26th – Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
  • 27th – Nicola Barella (Inter Milan)
  • = 28th – Randal Kolo Muani (Paris Saint Germain) and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
  • 30th – Ruben Dias (Man City)
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