Lionel Messi has been named the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner, taking home the award as the best football player of the season for a record-extending eighth time.

The 36-year-old Argentine forward led his country to their first World Cup title since 1986, claiming the Golden Ball award at the tournament in Qatar. He also won the French title with Paris Saint-Germain before moving to Inter Miami in the summer. In August, he helped his new team to their first ever title as they clinched the Leagues Cup.

Aitana Bonmatí has won the 2023 Ballon d’Or Féminin award, succeeding her Barcelona and international teammate Alexia Putellas, who won the prize in 2021 and 2022.

The 25-year-old Spanish midfielder led Spain to their maiden Women’s World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand, winning the Golden Ball award at the tournament. She also helped her club to win La Liga and a second Champions League title, earning her the UEFA Player of the Season award in August.

Messi and Bonmatí were presented with their awards at a star-studded ceremony in Paris on Monday (30 October).

Messi’s victory extends his record as the most successful player in Ballon d’Or history. He has now won the award more times than any other player, both male and female.

Bonmatí’s victory is a landmark moment for Spanish women’s football. She is the first Spanish player to win the Ballon d’Or Féminin award, and her victory comes at a time when the sport is enjoying a surge in popularity in the country.

The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious awards in football, and Messi and Bonmatí are worthy winners of the 2023 awards.

More details to follow…

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