Lionel Messi Wins Eighth Ballon d’Or, Becomes First Active Player in MLS History to Win Award


The Argentine forward wins the award given annually to the best player in the world for a record eighth time

Inter Miami CF captain Lionel Messi has been announced as the winner of the 2023 Ballon d’or, thus becoming the first active player in Major League Soccer (MLS) history to win the most prestigious individual accolade in world fútbol and winning the award for a record eighth time. 

The 36-year-old Rosario, Argentina native was elected as the winner of the trophy awarded to the best player in the world for a record eighth time, three more than the second player on the list of top winners, after previously collecting the most important individual honor in the game in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. 

This past year was yet again a memorable one for the attacking extraordinaire, highlighted by captaining and guiding his country’s national team to their first World Cup title win since 1986 and winning the 2022-23 Ligue 1 title. Individually, Messi was the winner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and Silver Boot awards, while at the club level being voted Ligue 1 Best Foreign Player of the Season after scoring 16 league goals and adding 16 league assists. Additionally, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar he famously broke the record for most World Cup match appearances (26) and became the only player to score in the World Cup group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final in the history of the competition.

Messi joined Inter Miami in July and had an immediate impact, helping the team win the 2023 Leagues Cup to win a historic first trophy for the team and advance to the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final to play in the first ever final at the Club’s DRV PNK Stadium. In all, he made 14 appearances across all competitions, registering 11 goals and eight assists in his first half season as an Inter Miami player.