Lionel Messi's Eighth Ballon d'Or Win: A Historic Achievement 

By: Babita Singh

Lionel Messi secured a historic eighth Ballon d'Or, making him the first MLS-based player to achieve this honor. 

Messi's triumph was primarily attributed to his stellar performance in leading Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar. 

Erling Haaland, the Manchester City striker, earned second place in the Ballon d'Or voting and was awarded the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best striker of the year. 

Aitana Bonmatí, the Barcelona and Spain midfielder, claimed the Ballon d'Or Féminin after a record-breaking year in both club and international competitions. 

Emiliano Martinez, Messi's Argentina teammate, received the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper, while Jude Bellingham was awarded the Kopa Trophy as the world's top player under 21. 

Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona on his birthday during his acceptance speech, honoring the late football legend. 

Messi's eight Ballon d'Or victories set a new record, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo's five wins and other three-time winners like Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, and Marco van Basten. 

Messi's latest Ballon d'Or was influenced by his exceptional performance as Argentina's captain in the 2022 World Cup, where he played a pivotal role in their victory.

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