Messi beat Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé to win the prestigious title at a ceremony in Paris on Monday night. His award came after leading Argentina to win the World Cup in Qatar last December.
The 36-year-old striker added to his previous titles in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021 to continue to lead the way as the winner of the most Golden Balls. Messi attended the ceremony with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo and children Mateo, Thiago and Ciro, and sent a touching message to Diego Maradona, who passed away at the age of 60 in November 2020.
“Finally, I want to mention Diego,” Messi said at the end of his speech. “Today is his birthday. I think there is no better place than here to wish him a happy birthday.
“Here are full of players, coaches and people who love football like him. Wherever you are, wish Diego a happy birthday. This title is for him, I share it with him and Argentina. Good evening and thank you very much.”
Dang Nguyen | 07:51 October 31, 2023