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Lionel Messi Wins Record-Extending Eighth Ballon d'Or Award

The Ballon d'Or ceremony returned to Paris on Monday night, and Lionel Messi was its shiniest star. The Argentine football legend defeated Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé to win his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or award. 2023 has been a career-defining year for Messi, and his Ballon d'Or is well-deserved. He was recognized for leading Argentina to the World Cup victory last year, before leaving Paris St-Germain for Inter Miami and helping them win their first trophy at the Leagues Cup. Messi extended his Ballon d'Or record to eight awards with his latest win and said each award is special for a different reason. "It's nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream. 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,” said Messi. Despite losing the Ballon d'Or to Messi, Erling Haaland picked up the Gerd Müller Trophy for the best goal scorer. His team Manchester City was named men’s club of the year, while Barcelona picked up a trophy for women’s club of the year. Its star player Aitana Bonmatí collected Ballon d'Or Féminin after leading Spain to their latest FIFA Women's World Cup win.