You are here: HomeSports2023 11 01Article 706568

Soccer News of Wednesday, 1 November 2023


Lionel Messi subtly avoids answering ‘Best Player’ question after winning 8th Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi cleverly dodged a question regarding the best player in the world after winning a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday night (October 30).

The Argentine beat his closest rival, Erling Haaland to the award, although his win was largely expected as he had been deemed the favourite weeks before the gala.

Messi was presented with the coveted Ballon d'Or trophy by the legendary David Beckham, who helped instigate his move to Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain.

The 36-year-old Messi made some notable remarks after his win but strategically avoided the debate surrounding himself and his long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The pair have been pitted against each other for over a decade, with the Portuguese superstar winning the Ballon d’Or five times - his last award win came in 2017.

When questioned on whether he believed he was the best player in the world after claiming the golden ball, Messi remained diplomatic in his answer, per L’Equipe:

"I don't know if I'm the best. I don't ask myself the question and it doesn't interest me."

Messi cemented his legacy among football's greatest last year after guiding Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup title, at the expense of Kylian Mbappe’s France.

Many fans believe the World Cup triumph, a first for Argentina since 1986 in the years of Diego Maradona, was Messi’s way of ‘completing football’.

Moments after getting feted in Paris, France on Monday, the Inter Miami maestro admitted that each Ballon d’Or win was different to him, per The Mirror: "It's nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment. To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream. I couldn't imagine having the career I've had and everything I've achieved, the fortune I've had to be part of the best team in history."
Neymar celebrates Messi after Ballon d'Or