Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time, while Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati claimed the Women’s Ballon d’Or.
Messi, now at Inter Miami, led his country to World Cup glory last year as he lifted the trophy for the first time and won the Golden Ball award for the best player of the tournament in Qatar.
The 36-year-old reclaimed the Ballon d’Or from France’s Karim Benzema to add to his wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.
The former Barcelona forward’s victory increases his lead over five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo. The 38-year-old Portugal international, who plays for Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr, was not on the shortlist for the first time since 2003.
How Messi led Argentina to World Cup glory
- Scored opening goal of first game in shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia
- Scored first goal of second game in vital 2-0 win over Mexico
- Scored opening goal in 2-1 Round of 16 win against Australia
- Scored, assisted and converted penalty in quarter-final shootout win over Netherlands
- Scored opener and wonderfully assisted third in 3-0 semi-final win over Croatia
- In the greatest final of them all, Messi scored twice and assisted another before converting in the shootout to help Argentina prevail over France
Messi left European football at the end of last season as he moved from Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the Ligue 1 title in both seasons, to join MLS team Inter Miami.
Messi was presented with the award by David Beckham, owner of Inter Miami and runner-up in the 1999 Ballon d’Or, and the Argentine admitted this will be his last Ballon d’Or win.
He said: “I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had.
“Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing.
“Being world champion was fantastic. But the truth is I’ve never really got used to receiving awards and being on the stage like this.
“Slowly I have got used to it a bit more since winning it for the first time in 2009. I think today is the last time I will win it, so it feels calmer and I will enjoy it in a different way.
“I’m proud of the career I’ve had. I’ve enjoyed football all my life and soon I’ll enjoy it from the other side.
“I don’t know for how much longer I’ll play but I plan to enjoy it.
“I can’t put a number on it as things can change very quickly from day to day in football. But I know that day is getting closer and closer.”
Haaland comes second as City dominate top 10
Messi claimed the 2023 Ballon d’Or in Paris ahead of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season to help City land the treble, with PSG and France forward Kylian Mbappe, just the second man to score a World Cup hat-trick, finishing third.
Haaland did not leave the Ballon d’Or ceremony empty-handed after landing the Gerd Muller Trophy for his record-breaking goal haul last season.
Meanwhile, his team Man City were named the men’s club of the year for a second year running after winning the Treble.
Pep Guardiola’s side also had five players in the Ballon d’Or top 10 as Kevin De Bruyne finished fourth while Rodri came fifth, Julian Alvarez – also a team-mate of Messi at international level – was seventh, and Bernardo Silva was ninth.
Bonmati claims her first Women’s Ballon d’Or
Barcelona midfielder Bonmati won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for the first time as she helped Spain to maiden World Cup glory in August and won a league and Champions League double at club level.
Bonmati won the Golden Ball for the best player of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while she was recently named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year.
The 25-year-old became the second Spanish player to win the Women’s Ballon d’Or after Barcelona compatriot Alexia Putellas was awarded the prize for the last two years.
Bonmati beat Chelsea and Australia striker Sam Kerr to the award, while England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps finished fifth in the voting after winning the Golden Glove at the World Cup.
Fellow Lionesses Rachel Daly (10th), Millie Bright (11th) and Georgia Stanway (23rd) were among the nominees for the fifth edition of the women’s award, with Arsenal and Republic of Ireland’s Katie McCabe finishing 22nd.
Meanwhile, Bonmati’s team Barcelona won the women’s club of the year award after they won the Champions League and Spanish league title last season.
Aston Villa’s Martinez wins best goalkeeper award
Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in the world.
Martinez claimed the award ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson for his heroics at the World Cup last year to help his country lift the trophy.
The 31-year-old became the second Premier League goalkeeper to take home the Yashin Trophy after its inception in 2019, with the inaugural award won by Liverpool’s Alisson Becker.
2023 Men’s Ballon d’Dr – Top 30
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina, Inter Miami)
2. Erling Haaland (Norway, Manchester City)
3. Kylian Mbappe (France, PSG)
4. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
5. Rodri (Spain, Manchester City)
6. Vinicius Junior (Brazil, Real Madrid)
7. Julian Alvarez (Argentina, Manchester City)
8. Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)
9. Bernardo Silva (Portugal, Manchester City)
10. Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
11. Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)
12. Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Barcelona)
13. Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)
14. Ilkay Gundogan (Germany, Barcelona)
15. Emiliano Martinez (Argentina, Aston Villa)
16. Karim Benzema (France, Al Ittihad)
17. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Georgia, Napoli)
18. Jude Bellingham (England, Real Madrid)
19. Harry Kane (England, Bayern Munich)
20. Lautaro Martinez (Argentina, Inter Milan)
21. Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid)
22. Min-Jae Kim (South Korea, Bayern Munich)
23. Andre Onana (Cameroon, Manchester United)
24. Bukayo Saka (England, Arsenal)
25. Josko Gvardiol (Croatia, Manchester City)
26. Jamal Musiala (Germany, Bayern Munich)
27. Nicolo Barella (Italy, Inter Milan)
=28. Martin Odegaard (Norway, Arsenal)
=28. Randal Kolo Muani (France, PSG)
30. Ruben Dias (Portugal, Manchester City)
2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or – Top 10
1. Aitana Bonmati (Spain, Barcelona)
2. Sam Kerr (Australia, Chelsea)
3. Salma Paralluelo (Spain, Barcelona)
4. Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden, Barcelona)
5. Mary Earps (England, Manchester United)
6. Olga Carmona (Spain, Real Madrid)
7. Alexandra Popp (Germany, Wolfsburg)
8. Patricia Guijarro (Spain, Barcelona)
9. Linda Caicedo (Colombia, Real Madrid)
10. Rachel Daly (England, Aston Villa)