Lionel Messi, after winning his eighth Ballon d’Or, isn’t focused on his long-term future. Instead, he’s savoring the moment. Messi, 36, clinched the award for his outstanding performances last season, where he led Argentina to World Cup victory. He expressed the significance of this win, stating, “The last one I won was also thanks to what we achieved with the Argentine national team in the Copa America (in 2021), but this one is much more special because it comes after we won the World Cup.
“This World Cup win was a dream come true for him, his teammates, and his country. It marked the pinnacle of his remarkable career and allowed him to surpass strong competitors like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland for the Ballon d’Or”.
Haaland secured second place in the final voting, while Mbappe took third, and Kevin De Bruyne finished in fourth. Messi, a former Barcelona superstar, scored seven goals during the World Cup, earning him the title of the tournament’s best player after Argentina’s victory over France in the final in Doha.
Despite his World Cup success, Messi had a lackluster final season at Paris Saint-Germain before joining Inter Miami in Major League Soccer. When asked about the possibility of winning another Ballon d’Or, possibly after the 2026 World Cup when he will be 39, Messi downplayed the idea, stating, “I am not thinking about the long-term future. I am just enjoying the day-to-day at the moment.”
He expressed his anticipation for the upcoming Copa America in the United States, where he is now residing. Argentina, as the defending champions, will be participating, and Messi is focused on arriving in good form for the tournament. Messi acknowledged that his two-year stint at PSG didn’t unfold as he had initially envisioned when he signed from Barcelona in 2021.
“I didn’t achieve my football goals here, but my family and I loved the city. My kids had a great time and didn’t want to leave. It’s an amazing place, and even though my football career didn’t go as planned, I like to focus on the positive experiences.”