The Inter Miami forward was one of the favorites for the France Football award, but he beat the likes of Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappe to be crowned the best player in world football once again.
Messi’s crowning achievement in the 2022/23 season – the designated time frame for those in contention – led Argentina to World Cup glory at the end of 2022 in Qatar, ending La Albiceleste’s 36-year wait for their third global honour.
The former Barcelona star scored in every round from the group stage to the final, where Argentina pipped France to the trophy on penalties at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, despite a stunning hat-trick from PSG team-mate Mbappe.
At club level, the 26-year-old contributed 16 Ligue 1 goals as Paris Saint-Germain won the French title. He left PSG after his two-year contract expired in June before moving to Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, leading them to the club’s first ever major silverware with the League Cup.
This year’s triumph comes after Messi won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. He now has three Ballon d’Ors ahead of arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who was not included in this year’s shortlist.