Lionel Messi, who won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022, added another Ballon d’Or trophy to his tally, taking his tally to a record eight trophies, at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday.
The prestigious men’s award has been dominated over the last 15 years by Messi and his old adversary Cristiano Ronaldo, who have won it 13 times between them.
How many Ballon d’Or does Messi have?
Messi won his first Ballon d’Or 14 years ago, just five years into his senior professional career. He has won eight Ballon d’Or trophies since.
After his eighth title win, Sportstar looks at what he said after winning each Ballon d’Or:
2009: “Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009,” Messi told France Football. “But I didn’t expect to win with such a margin. The Ballon d’Or is very important to me. All the players who won it were great players, and some great players never won it.”
2010: “I would obviously like to share this with all of my team-mates because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be up here accepting this award. There was so much talk beforehand of Andrés Iniesta or Xavi Hernández winning so I’m as surprised as anyone.”
2011: “I’m going to share this with Xavi,It’s the fourth time we’ve been here in Zurich; it’s a great pleasure to play alongside him. Xavi, you deserve the trophy just as much as me. Without you I wouldn’t have won and I want to thank you for being such a good friend.”
2012: “I prefer to win titles than individual prizes or scoring goals. I am more concerned about being a good person than the best player in the world. I hope that when I retire, people remember me as a good guy.”
2015: “It’s a very special moment for me, winning another Ballon d’Or after being in the audience watching Cristiano win the last two years. I want to thank all who voted for me and my team-mates who without none of this would be possible. It’s incredible this is my fifth. It’s much more than anything I’ve dreamed of as a kid.”
2019: “10 years ago I received my first Golden Ball in Paris. I remember that I came with my three brothers. I was 22 years old, it was unthinkable for me. Today, 10 years later, I have received the sixth, at a special time with my wife and three children.
“I always enjoy football. God is willing me to have several more years to continue enjoying it. The time of withdrawal is approaching and it is difficult because time goes by faster and faster.”
2021: “For me, the mere fact that I can be considered or cited as one of the best players in the world is more than enough. I don’t know how to say it so it won’t be misinterpreted... It’s not that I’m not interested, but I don’t attach much importance to it. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m the best or not. And I’ve never tried to be the best either.”
2023: “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,” Messi said.
“All of them (Ballon d’Or awards) are special for different reasons,” he added.
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