Lionel Messi is not only the best soccer player in the world but also the most decorated one. He has won the Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious individual award in soccer, eight times in his career. This is more than any other player in history. The Ballon d’Or is voted by 180 journalists from around the world. It is based on the players’ performances and achievements in their clubs and countries. Messi’s eight Ballon d’Or awards span from 2009 to 2023, reflecting his consistency, longevity, and impact in the game. In this article, we will analyze how Messi achieved this remarkable feat. We also look into what makes him stand out from his rivals and what his legacy will be for the sport. Let’s dive in.
Messi’s Eight Ballon d’Or Awards: A Timeline
|2009 / 1st||Barcelona/Argentina||Won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup; scored 38 goals in 51 games; named FIFA World Player of the Year|
|2010 / 2nd||Barcelona/Argentina||Won La Liga and Spanish Super Cup; scored 60 goals in 64 games; named FIFA Ballon d’Or|
|2011 / 3rd||Barcelona/Argentina||Won La Liga, Champions League, Club World Cup, Spanish Super Cup; scored 55 goals in 57 games; named FIFA Ballon d’Or|
|2012 / 4th||Barcelona/Argentina||Won Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup; scored 91 goals in 69 games (a world record); named FIFA Ballon d’Or|
|2015 / 5th||Barcelona/Argentina||Won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup; scored 52 goals in 61 games; reached Copa America final with Argentina; named FIFA Ballon d’Or|
|2019 / 6th||Barcelona/Argentina||Won La Liga and Spanish Super Cup; scored 51 goals in 50 games; won Golden Shoe as Europe’s top scorer; reached Copa America semifinal with Argentina; named The Best FIFA Men’s Player|
|2021 / 7th||Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain/Argentina||Won Copa del Rey with Barcelona; scored 40 goals in 50 games for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain; won Copa America with Argentina (his first major international trophy); named The Best FIFA Men’s Player|
|2023 / 8th||Inter Miami CF/Argentina||In 2022-23: 42 goals, 26 Assists. Won MLS Cup with Inter Miami CF; scored seven goals at the World Cup and led Argentina to their third title; named World Cup Golden Ball winner. Won Ligue 1 & Trophee des Champions.|
Lionel Messi is the most successful player in the history of the Ballon d’Or. The prestigious award that recognizes the best soccer player of the year. He has won it eight times, more than any other player. His first award came in 2009 when he led Barcelona to a historic treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and Champions League titles. He repeated the feat in 2015, adding two more trophies: the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. He also won the award in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2019, and 2021, breaking records and scoring goals for fun. His latest award came in 2023 after he fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning the World Cup with Argentina.
He scored seven goals (7 goals) in the tournament. It includes two in the final against France. Messi was named the best player in the competition.
Criteria of Ballon d’Or awards
Every year, 180 journalists from around the world determine the best soccer player of the year through the Ballon d’Or, evaluating players’ performances and achievements in their clubs and countries. France Football Magazine established the prize in 1956, originally conferring it exclusively on European players.
In 1995, it was opened to include all players of any origin who played in Europe. In 2007, it became a global award that included all professional players from around the world. The award merged with FIFA’s World Player of the Year from 2010 to 2015, then reverted to its original format in 2016. Jury members primarily consider a player’s individual and collective performance from the previous season, their class, and career when making their decision. Whoever gets the most points is the winner of the Ballon d’Or. Lionel Messi has won the award a record eight times( 8 times), followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five (5 times).
Messi’s Unique Skills and Attributes
Lionel Messi is widely regarded as one of the most skillful and versatile players of all time. He has a range of qualities that make him stand out from his rivals and contenders for the Ballon d’Or, the prestigious award that he has won eight times in his career. Some of his main qualities are:
- His exceptional dribbling ability allows him to glide past defenders with ease and create chances for himself and his teammates.
- Messi’s incredible passing accuracy effortlessly finds open teammates, creating opportunities for counterattacks and goal-scoring.
- His prolific scoring talent keeps opponents guessing, whether from near or far. He has scored over 700 career goals for club and country. He has won the European Golden Boot six times (6 times).
- His leadership and teamwork, inspire his teammates and lift their performance to new heights. He has captained both Argentina and his club teams, Barcelona and Inter Miami CF. He also has a reputation for being a vocal and humble leader on and off the pitch.
- His longevity and consistency show his dedication and hard work to maintain peak performance year after year. He has been a dominant force in football for over 15 years (fifteen years) and shows no signs of slowing down.
Messi’s Rivals and Contenders
Lionel Messi is the favorite to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or, the prestigious award that recognizes the best soccer player of the year. He has won it eight times, more than any other player in history. His latest award came after he led Argentina to their third World Cup title, scoring seven goals and winning the Golden Ball. However, he faces some tough competition from other players who have also had outstanding performances and achievements in their clubs and countries. Some of his main rivals and contenders are:
- Erling Haaland: The Norwegian striker was Messi’s closest challenger for the Ballon d’Or. He scored 54 goals in 50 games for Manchester City, helping them win the treble of Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup. He also scored 6 goals (six goals) at the World Cup. It includes a hat-trick against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
- Kylian Mbappe: The French star was the top scorer at the World Cup with eight goals, including a hat-trick in the final against Argentina. He scored 42 goals (forty-two goals) in 44 games for Paris Saint-Germain. He won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
- Robert Lewandowski: The Polish legend broke Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season, scoring 41 times in 29 games for Bayern Munich. He also scored 16 goals (sixteen goals) in 12 games for Poland, leading them to the Euro 2024 final.
- Karim Benzema: The French veteran had a remarkable season for Real Madrid, scoring 35 goals in 46 games and winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey. He also scored five goals (5 goals) at the World Cup, including a brace against Germany in the round of 16.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or eight times in his career, more than any other player in history. He has achieved this feat by being a skilled, prolific, creative, versatile, and inspirational player who has dominated the game for over 15 years. Messi also overcame many challenges and critics to fulfill his dream of winning a major international trophy with Argentina. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and a legend of the sport. Lionel Messi is not only a soccer star but also a global icon who transcends the sport. He is a symbol of excellence, passion, and joy. He is a gift to soccer and humanity.