World Cup winner Lionel Messi wins 8th Ballon d’Or

After conquering the 2022 World Cup and delivering Argentina its first world title since 1986, Lionel Messi became an eight-time Ballon d’Or 2023 on Monday, edging out runner-up Erling Haaland for the 2023 award.

Messi added the final line to his own legendary résumé last December, beating France, and 3rd-place finisher Kylian Mbappe, in a penalty shootout which decided one of the most thrilling games in the history of the sport, let alone in the final of a major tournament.

[ MORE: Ballon d’Or Feminin 2023 shortlist, all-time history ]

Only 10 players have won multiple Ballons d’Or and only five claimed the honor thrice or more.

Lionel Messi (now 8) and Cristiano Ronaldo (5) have accounted for 20 percent of Ballons d’Or, while the lion’s share of the winners have hailed from Europe.

European players have won 53 Ballon d’Or awards, with South America claiming 12 between Argentina and Brazil. George Weah has Africa’s only Ballon d’Or, while no North American or Asian has earned enough votes to be counted a winner.

In fact, Sadio Mane (2nd, 2022) and Weah (1st, 1995) are the only other players from outside Europe and South America to finish in the top three amongst vote-getters in a single year.

Ballon d’Or winners by year

2023: Lionel Messi
2022: Karim Benzema
2021: Lionel Messi
2020: not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
2019: Lionel Messi
2018: Luka Modric
2017: Cristiano Ronaldo
2016: Cristiano Ronaldo
2015: Lionel Messi
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo
2012: Lionel Messi
2011: Lionel Messi
2010: Lionel Messi
2009: Lionel Messi
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo
2007: Kaka
2006: Fabio Cannavaro
2005: Ronaldinho
2004: Andriy Shevchenko
2003: Pavel Nedved
2002: Ronaldo Nizario
2001: Michael Owen
2000: Luis Figo
1999: Rivaldo
1998: Zinedine Zidane
1997: Ronaldo Nizario
1996: Matthias Sammer
1995: George Weah
1994: Hristo Stoichkov
1993: Roberto Baggio
1992: Marco van Basten
1991: Jean-Pierre Papin
1990: Lothar Matthaus
1989: Marco van Basten
1988: Marco van Basten
1987: Ruud Gullit
1986: Igor Belanov
1985: Michel Platini
1984: Michel Platini
1983: Michel Platini
1982: Paolo Rossi
1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1979: Kevin Keegan
1978: Kevin Keegan
1977: Allan Simonsen
1976: Franz Beckenbauer
1975: Oleg Blokhin
1974: Johan Cruyff
1973: Johan Cruyff
1972: Franz Beckenbauer
1971: Johan Cruyff
1970: Gerd Muller
1969: Gianni Rivera
1968: George Best
1967: Florian Albert
1966: Bobby Charlton
1965: Eusebio
1964: Denis Law
1963: Lev Yashin
1962: Josef Masopust
1961: Omar Sivori
1960: Luis Suarez
1959: Alfredo Di Stefano
1958: Raymond Kopa
1957: Alfredo Di Stefano
1956: Stanley Matthews

Who has won the most Ballons d’Or all-time?


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