Kathmandu: Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time on Monday after fulfilling his life’s ambition by leading Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar last year.
Adding to his silverware the one major trophy that eluded him in his storied career was the decisive factor in an otherwise quite mundane season – for his standards – at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 36-year-old Messi won ahead of Manchester City forward Erling Haaland and his former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe.
Messi thanked his Argentina coach, teammates and staff for making his victory possible.
“Tonight I’m enjoying myself. It’s a pleasure that will never leave me, and I hope to be able to enjoy it for many years to come,” Messi said through a translator.
“Becoming world champion was the title we were missing. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make Argentina the world champion team.” Messi also paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona, who also helped Argentina win the World Cup, back in 1986.
“This title and this trophy,” Messi said, “I share them with you and all our Argentina comrades.”
News Source: AP