Lionel Messi’s trophy cabinet saw yet another familiar decoration as he clinched a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world on Monday.
Shortly after the Argentina captain won the prestigious award, his current club, Inter Miami of the Major League Soccer, posted a picture of the team on social media platform X, captioned “We’ll go first”. And the team did just that.
Messi returned to training in Lauderdale amid huge cheers and celebrations from the fans, as well as the Inter Miami squad. His teammate Gregore de Magalhães da Silva of Brazil, kicked off the festivity with a heartfelt speech. “Eight Ballon d’Or, you deserve it and let me say thank you for everything you’ve done for football, and it’s a pleasure for us to be working with you,” he said.
The 36-year-old, who last won the award in 2021, played a pivotal role in guiding Argentina to its first World Cup title in 36 years when it beat defending champion France in the final last year. Messi pipped Norway’s UEFA Player of the Year and treble winner Erling Haaland of Manchester City to the award.
Messi also won the Ligue 1 title with Paris St Germain before moving to Inter Miami earlier in July, where he helped the Major League Soccer side win the Leagues Cup -- its first major trophy.
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