Last year, at the age of 36, Messi achieved the pinnacle of his extraordinary career by leading Argentina to a spectacular World Cup victory in Qatar. After his time at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, the renowned superstar joined Inter Miami in July. He wasted no time in making a significant impact in the MLS, delivering a series of mesmerizing performances.
Messi, who missed out on the 2022 award to Karim Benzema, has reportedly been informed of his victory ahead of the upcoming ceremony in Paris on Monday, October 30. According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati will be honoured as the recipient of the female award at the Chatelet Theatre. Bonmati secured this recognition by leading Spain to victory in the Women’s World Cup, triumphing over England in a thrilling final held in August.
Bonmati is set to become the second Barcelona star in a row to win the Ballon d’Or, following her teammate and fellow countrywoman Alexia Putellas, who received the prestigious award last year.
However, despite the ceremony having a distinct Catalonia vibe because of Messi’s strong connection with Barcelona, fans will need to be patient before witnessing both Ballon d’Or winners playing together for the same team in the same season.
Messi’s upcoming triumph is set to make history by awarding the Ballon d’Or to a player who competes outside of Europe for the first time ever. This achievement will also put him three steps ahead of his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite facing tough competition from Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, the 36-year-old is expected to emerge as the winner due to his exceptional performance in Qatar.
Last season, Haaland achieved an impressive feat by winning the Treble with City. He showcased his exceptional skills by scoring an astonishing 52 goals in 53 games. Meanwhile, Mbappe delivered a memorable performance by scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final against Argentina, where Messi played. He also performed admirably during a lacklustre season for PSG.