Ballon d'Or 2023 Winner Messi beats Haaland to win for eighth time

Ballon d'Or 2023 Winner Messi beats Haaland to win for eighth time

Inter Miami CF star Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time, 

Inter Miami CF star Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or for a record eighth time, 

fending off competition from Manchester City striker Erling Haaland after leading Argentina to the World Cup last year.

fending off competition from Manchester City striker Erling Haaland after leading Argentina to the World Cup last year.

Messi, 36, becomes the first MLS-based player to claim the coveted prize, 

Messi, 36, becomes the first MLS-based player to claim the coveted prize, 

although the triumph comes largely on the back of his exploits with his country in Qatar.

although the triumph comes largely on the back of his exploits with his country in Qatar.

 Former Manchester United player and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham handed his prize-signing Messi the award in Paris.

 Former Manchester United player and Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham handed his prize-signing Messi the award in Paris.

Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season as City won the Treble in 2022-23, 

Haaland, who scored 52 goals last season as City won the Treble in 2022-23, 

finished second in the voting and won the Gerd Muller Trophy given to the best striker of the year.

finished second in the voting and won the Gerd Muller Trophy given to the best striker of the year.

"I couldn't imagine having the career that I've had. Everything that I've achieved 

"I couldn't imagine having the career that I've had. Everything that I've achieved 

Messi said after getting his award. "The fortune I've had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It's nice to win these individual trophies.

Messi said after getting his award. "The fortune I've had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It's nice to win these individual trophies.

"To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing. All of them [Ballon d'Or awards] are special for different reasons."

"To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing. All of them [Ballon d'Or awards] are special for different reasons."

During his acceptance speech, Messi made a point of wishing Argentina countryman Diego Maradona happy birthday. 

During his acceptance speech, Messi made a point of wishing Argentina countryman Diego Maradona happy birthday. 

The 1986 World Cup winner, who died on Nov. 22, 2020, would have been 63 on Monday.

The 1986 World Cup winner, who died on Nov. 22, 2020, would have been 63 on Monday.

Even prior to Monday's ceremony in Paris, no player had won the Ballon d'Or more times than Messi, 

Even prior to Monday's ceremony in Paris, no player had won the Ballon d'Or more times than Messi, 

who first won it in 2009 and then again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021 and 2023

who first won it in 2009 and then again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021 and 2023