The 36-year-old superstar was honoured at the ceremony in Paris, a testament to his vital role in Argentina’s World Cup victory in Qatar last year.
England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham was recognized for his exceptional talent, winning the Kopa Trophy as the world’s best player aged under 21.
Mbappe became only the second player ever to score a World Cup final hat-trick, although it was not enough to secure a victory, as Argentina claimed a 4-2 penalty shootout win.
“It’s nice to be here once more to enjoy this moment,” Messi stated. “To be able to win the World Cup and achieve my dream.”
He added, “I couldn’t imagine having the career I’ve had and everything I’ve achieved, the fortune I’ve had to be part of the best team in history. All of them [Ballon d’Or awards] are special for different reasons.”
Erling Haaland’s extraordinary season, where he scored a record-breaking 36 goals in 35 league games and 52 in all competitions, earned him the Gerd Muller Trophy for the best goalscorer.
Haaland expressed his gratitude, saying, “I want to thank Manchester City, the whole club. I also want to thank my family and all the people around me for making me who I am today.”
The Ballon d’Or is awarded to the world’s best footballer and is determined through the votes of 100 journalists from around the world.
This year, Messi added another Ballon d’Or to his collection, setting a new record for the award.
In addition to his national achievements with Argentina, Messi made an impact in the MLS, scoring 11 goals in 14 appearances for Inter Miami, who claimed the Leagues Cup title.
Emiliano Martinez, Argentina’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper and Aston Villa player, received the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in the world.
Despite his achievements, Martinez faced jeers from some of the crowd at the Paris ceremony, presumably due to his celebration after Argentina’s World Cup victory last year.
Manchester City was named the club of the year for the second consecutive year.
The club’s remarkable achievement includes winning the Treble of Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup in the previous season.
Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. was awarded the Socrates Award for his work off the field, particularly in fighting against racism.
Vinicius, who has been a target of racist abuse during La Liga matches, started a foundation dedicated to building schools in impoverished areas and investing in education in Brazil.
Former England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham paid tribute to the late Sir Bobby Charlton before presenting the Men’s Ballon d’Or to Messi.
Beckham expressed his respect and gratitude for Sir Bobby Charlton, who passed away at the age of 86 earlier this month. Beckham stated, “I owe him everything.”
This year’s Ballon d’Or recognized the excellence and contributions of outstanding individuals in the world of football, while also highlighting the ongoing challenges and issues the sport faces.
2023 Ballon d’Or top 10
- Lionel Messi (Argentina and PSG/Inter Miami)
- Erling Haaland (Norway and Manchester City)
- Kylian Mbappe (France and PSG)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium and Manchester City)
- Rodri (Spain and Manchester City)
- Vinicius Jr (Brazil and Real Madrid)
- Julian Alvarez (Argentina and Manchester City)
- Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and Napoli)
- Bernardo Silva (Portugal and Manchester City)
- Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)