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Lionel Messi is rejoicing in his eighth Ballon d’Or win, setting a new record as the world’s top player.
After joining MLS team Inter Miami, the 36-year-old was heavily favored to win another prestigious award, following Argentina’s victory in the World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year.
Aitana Bonmati took over as the recipient of the women’s prize, the Ballon d’Or Feminin, from previous winner Alexia Putellas. She shone as a midfielder for Spain in their victory at the Women’s World Cup and played a crucial role in Barcelona’s impressive 2022/23 campaign, which culminated in a comeback win in the Champions League final.
One representative from England received an award, with Jude Bellingham being presented with the Kopa Trophy for the best young player in the world. Previous recipients include Kylian Mbappe in 2018 and Barcelona’s Gavi in the last ceremony.
At the top of the list of extra accolades for the evening, Vinicius Jr was presented with the Socrates award for his philanthropic endeavors.
Given the opportunity by co-host Didier Drogba to share a powerful message, he emphasized the importance of unity and standing against racism in football. He expressed gratitude towards the fellow players who have supported the fight against discrimination. Drogba affirmed that Vinicius, who has been a victim of racist abuse during a recent LaLiga match in Spain, is not fighting alone in the effort to eliminate such behavior from the sport.
Emiliano Martinez, a World Cup winner from Argentina and Aston Villa, was awarded the Yashin Trophy for being the best goalkeeper. He outperformed other contenders such as Yassine Bounou from Morocco and Ederson from Manchester City.
The Club of the Year award was given to FC Barcelona for their women’s team, Barcelona Femini, and their successful performance last season in winning both the domestic league and Champions League. Man City was awarded the men’s award for securing a treble in the 2022/23 season.
Erling Haaland was awarded the Gerd Muller Trophy for being the top scorer with 56 goals for both his club and country, narrowly beating out Kylian Mbappe.
In the wider list of nominees for the main awards, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ranked 11th, England captain Harry Kane 19th and Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka came in 24th. Messi beat Haaland and Kylian Mbappe on the final podium.
Mary Earps received the highest ranking among the Lionesses for the Feminin award, placing fifth overall. Rachel Daly placed tenth and captain Millie Bright was one spot behind. Sam Kerr and Salma Paralluelo were second and third, respectively, for the women’s award.
The source is from The Independent newspaper’s website.