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17th Oct 2023

Lionel Messi set to win historic eighth Ballon d’Or

Callum Boyle

Lionel Messi

The greatest

Lionel Messi is set to make history by becoming the first player outside of Europe to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

Messi already has seven titles to his name – more than anyone else – and the Argentine will reclaim the prize after Karim Benzema was crowned the winner in 2022.

The Inter Miami star has been the favourite to land the Ballon d’Or after he captained Argentina to their first World Cup since 1986 and his first as a player.

Since winning the biggest prize in football, Messi opted to leave Europe after departing Paris Saint-Germain and joined Inter Miami in the MLS.

There, the 36-year-old has helped to turn around the club’s season, taking them from the bottom of the standings and guiding them to their first piece of silverware by winning the Leagues Cup.

Erling Haaland is touted to be one of Messi’s closest competitors for the prize, while Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t been mentioned as one of the favourites.

Spanish outlet SPORT have also reported that Aitana Bonmati of Spain and Barcelona Femeni will win the women’s edition of the Ballon d’Or after he role in the nation’s Women’s World Cup win in Australia.

Bonmati was named World Cup’s Player of the Tournament after the victory against England in the final and was also crowned UEFA Women’s Player of the Year trophy in September.

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