Messi and Bonmatí win Ballon D’Or 2023: History, Highlights and Reactions

Russell Nketiah Tannor
Messi and Bonmatí win Ballon D’Or 2023: History, Highlights and Reactions

 Lionel Messi and Aitana Bonmatí have won the Ballon D’Or 2023, the most prestigious individual award in football. Find out how they made history, who were the other winners and what the fans and experts said.

Lionel Messi made history on Monday night as he won his eighth Ballon D'Or, the most prestigious individual award in football. The Argentine superstar beat Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé to the coveted prize, after leading his country to the World Cup title last year and helping Paris Saint-Germain win Ligue 1.

Messi received the award at a glamorous ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, where he was joined by his wife Antonella Roccuzzo and his four sons. He thanked his family, teammates, coaches and fans for their support and dedicated the award to his late friend and mentor Diego Maradona, who passed away in November 2020.

"I am very happy and very proud to receive this award for the eighth time," Messi said. "It is a huge honour and a recognition of all the hard work and sacrifice that I have put in throughout my career. I want to share this with all the people who have been with me along the way, especially my family, who are always there for me. This is also for Diego, who is watching us from above. He was a great inspiration for me and for many others."

Messi, who moved to PSG from Barcelona in August 2022 after 21 years at the Catalan club, had a remarkable season in 2022-23. He scored 38 goals and provided 24 assists in 45 games for PSG, helping them win the domestic double and reach the Champions League semi-finals. He also scored seven goals and assisted five in seven games for Argentina, leading them to their first World Cup title since 1986. He was named the best player of the tournament and scored the winning goal in the final against Brazil.

Messi's eighth Ballon D'Or puts him further ahead of his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five. The Portuguese star, who returned to Manchester United in 2022, finished 25th in the voting this year. The other players in the top 10 were Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Vinícius Júnior, Julián Álvarez, Victor Osimhen, Bernardo Silva and Luka Modrić.

The Ballon D'Or is voted for by 100 journalists from FIFA's top 100 nations. They each pick five players from a 30-man shortlist and all votes are added up via a points system.

Bonmatí wins first Ballon D'Or Féminin

In the women's category, Aitana Bonmatí won her first Ballon D'Or Féminin, becoming the first Spanish player to do so. The 25-year-old midfielder beat Vivianne Miedema and Sam Kerr to the award, after she won the 2022-23 Women's Champions League with FC Barcelona and the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup with Spain.

Bonmatí was instrumental in Barcelona's historic treble-winning season, scoring 12 goals and providing 18 assists in 37 games. She also scored four goals and assisted six in seven games for Spain, helping them win their first Women's World Cup title. She scored the only goal in the final against Germany.

"I am very happy and very grateful to receive this award," Bonmatí said. "It is a dream come true for me and for all the women who play football. I want to thank my teammates, coaches and staff at Barcelona and Spain for their support and trust. This is also for all the girls who love football and want to pursue their passion."

Bonmatí is the fourth winner of the Ballon D'Or Féminin, which was introduced in 2018. The previous winners were Ada Hegerberg (2018), Megan Rapinoe (2019) and Pernille Harder (2022).

The Ballon D'Or Féminin is voted for by a panel of journalists specialised in women's football from around the world. They each pick three players from a 20-woman shortlist and all votes are added up via a points system.

Other awards

In the other award categories, Jude Bellingham was given the Kopa Trophy, which recognises the best player under the age of 21. The English midfielder had a stellar season with Borussia Dortmund, scoring 15 goals and providing 12 assists in 42 games. He also played a key role in England's run to the Euro 2020 final.

Emiliano Martínez won the Yashin Trophy, which honours the best goalkeeper of the year. The Argentine shot-stopper had an impressive season with Aston Villa, keeping 18 clean sheets in 38 Premier League games. He also saved three penalties in the World Cup semi-final shootout against Italy.

The Socrates Award was given to Vinícius Júnior, who was chosen by the fans as the most entertaining player of the year. The Brazilian winger dazzled with his skills and speed for Real Madrid, scoring 22 goals and providing 14 assists in 48 games. He also scored four goals and assisted three in six games for Brazil.

Erling Haaland claimed the Gerd Müller Trophy, which rewards the top scorer of the year. The Norwegian striker scored a staggering 54 goals in 46 games for Manchester City, breaking the record for the most goals in a single Premier League season (36). He also scored 10 goals in six games for Norway.

The Men's Club of the Year award went to Manchester City for the second year in a row, after they won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. They also reached the Champions League final for the first time in their history, losing to Barcelona.

FC Barcelona received the inaugural Women's Club of the Year award, after they won the treble of Women's Champions League, Primera División and Copa de la Reina. They became the first team to win all three competitions in a single season, scoring 175 goals and conceding only 13 in 42 games.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)