Football world champion Lionel Messi has been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the eighth time. The 36-year-old Argentine received the honor for last season in Paris, winning the vote ahead of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé.

Karim Benzema won last year. The best German was national team captain Ilkay Gündogan in 14th place, while Jamal Musiala from FC Bayern came in 26th.

“Wherever you are, Diego: all the best!”

Record winner Messi also dedicated the award to his compatriot Diego Maradona in his acceptance speech on the stage of the Theater du Chatelet. “There is no better place to wish him a happy birthday, here near many people who love football as much as he would have wanted,” Messi said. Maradona, who died almost three years ago, would have had his birthday on Monday. “Wherever you are, Diego: All the best! This is for you too,” said Messi.

Messi won the World Cup for the first time with the Argentine national team at the end of last year. In Qatar, the South Americans triumphed in a thrilling final against France. After his time at Paris Saint-Germain, the superstar moved to Inter Miami in the USA in the summer.

Bonmatí wins among women

In the women’s category, Spanish world champion Aitana Bonmatí received the Golden Ball as expected, succeeding her compatriot Alexia Putellas. The 25-year-old won the World Cup title with the Spaniards in Australia and the Champions League with FC Barcelona. The German national player Alexandra Popp came seventh, Lena Oberdorf was also nominated, but missed the top ten.

Norway’s top striker Haaland from the English treble winners from Manchester was rewarded with the Gerd Müller Trophy for the best goalscorer for the first time thanks to 56 goals. The English international Jude Bellingham from Real Madrid, who was active in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund last season, prevailed in the U21 youth selection. Musiala took second place behind them. The best goalkeeper was Argentine Emiliano Martínez from Aston Villa.

The Ballon d’Or is not a replacement for the world footballer’s election. This election will continue to be organized by the world association FIFA. From 2010 to 2015, the world footballer was awarded the Golden Ball through a cooperation between FIFA and “France Football”.

The list of winners since 2008

2008 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2009 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2010 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2011 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2012 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2013 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2014 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2015 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2016 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2017 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2018 Luka Modric (Croatia)

2019 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

No award in 2020

2021 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2022 Karim Benzema (France)

2023 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

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