Messi: ‘The Golden Ball is a gift for all of Argentina’

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Lionel Messi expressed gratitude to the Argentine team and fans after winning the 2023 Golden Ball at a ceremony in Paris on the evening of October 30.

“My award goes hand in hand with what I won with the team,” Messi said after winning the 2023 Golden Ball. “This is a gift for the whole team and the whole country of Argentina.”

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Messi also mentioned Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, two players ranked right behind in the race. He believes that both opponents have had an incredible year both individually and collectively. “Haaland had a spectacular year and won everything,” Messi added. “I have no doubt that in the coming years, he and Mbappe will win this award.”

Messi won the 2023 Golden Ball in Paris, France on the evening of October 30.  Photo: AFP

Messi won the 2023 Golden Ball in Paris, France on the evening of October 30. Photo: AFP

Messi also admitted that the ceremony also gathered many other young talents. He believes that with those players, he will continue to witness beautiful football for a long time to come. Messi believes that generations of players constantly change, but the level never decreases.

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Looking back on his career, Messi admitted that he did not think that one day he would achieve all his football goals like he does now. He believes that playing for the best teams in the world and the best in history, such as Barca and Argentina, is the reason why it is easier for him to win titles and individual awards.

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Messi recalled difficult matches with Argentina, including the 2022 World Cup opening match, losing 1-2 to Saudi Arabia. “I had bad moments and didn’t play well,” Messi added. “However, I never gave up. I fought endlessly for my desire to win the Copa America and the World Cup. I am proud to have kept trying.”

After the 2023 Golden Ball , Messi will continue to enjoy football. The 36-year-old striker still wants to have more fun on the field, even though he no longer plays in Europe. “The only thing left is to continue enjoying football,” Messi said. “I’ve never stopped enjoying football. It’s what I love to do. As long as I can continue to play, I will continue to enjoy it.”

The 2023 Golden Ball is the eighth Golden Ball in Messi ‘s career . Previously, he won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. Messi set a new record for the number of wins, and increased the gap with the second ranked player, Cristiano Ronaldo, to three Golden Balls. Legends Marco Van Basten, Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini ranked third, with three Golden Balls.

During the voting period for the 2023 Golden Ball, Messi led Argentina to win the 2022 World Cup. He also won two individual titles, the 2022 World Cup Golden Ball and Silver Shoe for the second highest scorer at the tournament in Qatar. . Returning to the club level, the 36-year-old striker won Ligue 1 with PSG and Leagues Cup with Inter Miami. Meanwhile, Mbappe and France only lost to Argentina in the World Cup final penalty shootout. The 24-year-old striker also won the World Cup Golden Boot, World Cup and Ligue 1 Silver Ball.

Not participating in the World Cup, but Haaland is more successful than every player at the club level. In the 2022-2023 season, the 23-year-old Norwegian striker scored 52 goals in 53 matches for Man City, making an important contribution to the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup. In August, UEFA awarded the title of Best Player of the Season to Haaland, while Messi ranked second.

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