Lionel Messi wins EIGHTH Ballon d’Or gong after pipping Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to prestigious award

World Cup success meant Lionel Messi was a shoo-in to pick up the Ballon d’Or once again

LIONEL MESSI has won his eighth Ballon d’Or.

The superstar pipped Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the award after winning the 2022 World Cup.

Lionel Messi has won his eighth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has won his eighth Ballon d’OrCredit: AFP

Messi's successes date back to 2009

Messi’s successes date back to 2009

The Argentine's World Cup success was a key reason behind his win

The Argentine’s World Cup success was a key reason behind his winCredit: Reuters
Messi, 36, played a pivotal role in Argentina’s success with seven goals, including two in the final.

He also scored a spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out against France and opened the scoring in a tense group game against Mexico where a defeat could have sent Argentina out.

Messi also won Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain before inspiring Inter Miami to their first piece of silverware, winning the Leagues Cup.

He has now won 29 trophies in his career and an eighth Ballon d’Or means Messi boasts 45 individual honours.

Messi now has three more Ballon d’Or titles than Cristiano Ronaldo, who has the next most wins with five.

The Portuguese missed out on a nomination this year following his move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Instead several young talents got the nod including England star Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich ace Jamal Musiala.

But they missed out on a top three place with Haaland second and Mbappe third.

The two other English players on the list, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, finished 24th and 19th respectively, with Saka finishing behind Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Bellingham, 20, picked up the Kopa Trophy for best young player in the world and his 18th place in the Ballon d’Or voting means he is the highest-ranked Englishman.

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