The 2023 Ballon d’or

Messi Wins it…Again
Threeohsix, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Threeohsix, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This year’s Ballon d’Or award show took place on Monday, October 30, in Paris. The ceremony, which brings together and celebrates the greatest names in football from around the globe, is considered not only the premier event in sports but also one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

Spanning across various categories, the awards celebrate excellence, ranging from the Best Young Player of the Year—granted to talents under 21—to distinctions for the best goalkeeper and the most outstanding club.

The Kopa Trophy, recognizing the Best Young Player, found its place in the hands of Jude Bellingham, the gifted England international, who has been providing great performances on the field wearing the Real Madrid colors.

Named after the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, the Yashin Trophy for the Best Goalkeeper found its recipient in Emiliano Martínez, key in Argentinas World Cup championship run, is a player known for his penalty-saving abilities.

The honor for the Best Club of the Year proudly landed in the domain of English powerhouse Manchester City, solidifying their dominance in the sport.

Yet, the Ballon d’Or itself remains the most coveted and anticipated award of the night, crowning the best individual player in the world. Over the years, illustrious names such as Ronaldinho, Zidane, George Best, and Ronaldo have won this award, securing their place as the best in the universe.

This year’s pursuit for this substantial achievement came down to a two-horse race. Erling Haaland, the Norwegian superstar, clinched second place while the unparalleled World Cup winner, Lionel Messi, secured the award for an unprecedented 8th time in his illustrious career.

The inevitability of Messi’s win hardly came as a surprise, with speculations running rampant in the weeks leading up to the event. Famously known as “La Pulga,” the former PSG and Barcelona star secured his place in history as the first player ever to clinch the award eight times, surpassing his own previous record of seven—a feat no other player has attained. This triumph surpasses his earlier record of six, a milestone also unmatched till this day.

Messi’s historical win extends beyond just his accolades. He secured this honor while playing for a team outside of Europe, a decision made after his victorious World Cup campaign, where he departed French side PSG to join Inter Miami, based in Florida.

Having spent most of his career with the mighty Catalan super force, Barcelona, Messi’s impact on the sport has been unparalleled. By the age of 24, he had already claimed three Ballon d’Ors, a feat that remains unmatched to this day—no player younger than 30 playing today has ever won the Ballon d’Or even once.

However, his triumph on October 30, 2023, does not bestow upon Messi the status of the greatest player of his generation; he had already that title on October 29.

The name Messi has transcended the bounds of the sport, becoming synonymous with the beautiful game. A status achieved by few, akin to the likes of Pelé and Maradona.

The privilege of witnessing the magic that the boy from Rosario creates on the field is an experience we are fortunate to have witnessed firsthand—a tale to pass down through generations.

As time surges forward, this Ballon d’Or may mark the final of Messi’s wins, signifying the end of an era and paving the way for the next generation to embrace the challenge, maintaining the beauty of the game.

For over a decade, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battled for supremacy, engraving their names into history, and, as history will tell it, Messi emerged victorious. As this era concludes, the stage now beckons to the new talents ready to seize the mantle—figures like this year’s runner-up Erling Haaland and last year’s contender Mbappé, ready to entertain and amaze for years to come.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All TheRoadrunner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • L

    Laura HanesNov 2, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    Very interesting! Well written and extremely informative!

    • N

      Nathan EspindulaNov 3, 2023 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you! I try to write it in a way that someone with little to no knowledge of soccer can understand what is happening.