By Victor Kanayo
Argentina and Inter Miami football star Lionel Messi on Monday night won a record eight Ballon d’Or, nearly one year after lifting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
At the colourful award ceremony in Paris, France, Messi was accorded a loud and standing ovation.
Messi also played a key role as Inter Miami won their first trophy – the Leagues Cup – and has scored 11 goals in 14 appearances for the Major League Soccer side.
He has now won three more Ballon d’Or awards than anyone else, with Cristiano Ronaldo having won it five times, most recently in 2017.
Haaland And Others
His closest rival for the last season, Erling Haaland, finished as the runner up after helping Manchester City win a Treble.
The Norway international scored a record-breaking 36 goals in 35 league games and hit 52 in all competitions as City won the Treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
He was recognised for his achievements with the Gerd Muller Trophy for best goalscorer.
PSG and French star Kylian Mbappé came third, while Kevin De Bruyne was rated fourth.
Earlier, England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham won the Kopa Trophy for the world’s best player, aged under 21.
Argentina World Cup winner and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in the world.
Martinez won the Golden Glove in Qatar, saving a spot-kick from Kingsley Coman in the 4-2 penalty shootout win against France.
However, Portuguese captain and Al Nassr main man Cristiano Ronaldo was not named on the shortlist for the first time since 2003.
Manchester City Trebble Honour
Manchester City were named the club of the year at the awards for the second year running.
Pep Guardiola’s side became only the second English team to win the Treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup last season.
The Ballon d’Or recognises the best footballer of the year and is voted for by 100 journalists from around the world.