July 21, 2024

Lionel Messi Wins Ballon D Or For The 8th Time

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By Sedara Philip

Argentina and Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi has won the Men’s Ballon d’Or, claiming the prestigeous award for the eight time

 

The 36-year-old was recognised at the ceremony in Paris after helping his country win the World Cup in Qatar last year.

 

England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for the world’s best player aged under 21.

 

Messi won his record-extending Ballon d’Or award ahead of Manchester City forward Erling Haaland.

 

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

 

Norway international Haaland scored a record-breaking 36 goals in 35 league games and hit 52 in all competitions as City won the Treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

 

He was recognised for his achievements with the Gerd Muller Trophy for best goalscorer.

 

“I want to thank Manchester City, the whole club,” said Haaland.

 

“I also want to thank my family and all the people around me for making me who I am today.”

 

The Ballon d’Or recognises the best footballer of the year and is voted for by 100 journalists from around the world.

 

As well as helping Argentina to World Cup glory, Messi also played a key role as Inter Miami won their first trophy – the Leagues Cup – and has scored 11 goals in 14 appearances for the Major League Soccer side.

 

He has now won three more Ballon d’Or awards than anyone else, with Cristiano Ronaldo having won it five times, most recently in 2017.

 

The Portugal international, who plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, was not named on the shortlist for the first time since 2003.

 

Argentina World Cup winner and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in the world.

 

Martinez won the Golden Glove in Qatar, saving a spot-kick from Kingsley Coman in the 4-2 penalty shootout win against France.

 

He also helped Aston Villa finish seventh in the Premier League and secure a place in the Europa Conference League.

 

However, Martinez was jeered by some of the crowd at the Paris ceremony. The goalkeeper was criticised for this celebration after winning the World Cup against France last year.

 

Manchester City win club of year award

 

Manchester City were named the club of the year at the awards for the second year running.

 

Pep Guardiola’s side became only the second English team to win the Treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup last season.

 

They had seven players shortlisted for the men’s Ballon d’Or award.

 

Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr received the Socrates Award for his contribution off the field and vowed to keep speaking out against racism in world football.

 

Vinicius has been the target of racist abuse regularly in La Liga games for the past two seasons.

 

He was recognised for starting a foundation that is building schools in impoverished areas and investing in education in Brazil.

 

“I will remain strong in the fight against racism,” said the Brazilian. “It is a very sad thing to talk about racism nowadays, but we have to continue in the fight so that people suffer less.”

 

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