Kylian Mbappe Send Emotional Message To Lionel Messi’s After Ballon d’Or
Kylian Mbappe has congratulated Lionel Messi on winning the Ballon d’Or – telling the Argentina skipper he “deserves it”.
Messi took home a record eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday night after a stellar 2022/23 campaign. The 36-year-old forward won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain and the World Cup with Argentina, ending his country’s 36-year wait for a third world title.
Messi was the big favourite to receive the Ballon d’Or after his World Cup triumph. The final, held in Qatar 10 months ago, could’ve gone either way. Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout, with Mbappe scoring an astonishing hat-trick.
Mbappe would’ve probably claimed his first Ballon d’Or had France won that shootout, but it wasn’t meant to be. The 24-year-old forward showed his class by congratulating Messi on Instagram after he was given the prize at a ceremony in Paris.
“Congratulations Leo for your award,” wrote Mbappe, who played alongside Messi at PSG for two seasons. “You deserve it.” Messi has now won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021 and 2023. Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed the honour five times – in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 – while Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten are all three-time winners.
Messi held off tough competition from Manchester City trio Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri for this year’s Ballon d’Or, as well as Mbappe. “Want to share this with my international teammates,” said Messi. “Thank the entire group the coaching staff.
“Hats off to Kylian, Erling and Kevin too. You guys are very young and you have achieved so much already so plenty of time left. Delighted to be here to enjoy this one more time. To win the World Cup was to achieve my dream.
“I would like to mention my wife, who has been with me through thick and thin. I’d like to thank Diego (Maradona). I want to say happy birthday to Diego, it would have been his birthday today. It is always special to be recognised.”
Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati won the women’s Ballon d’Or after helping Spain win the World Cup, while Haaland was recognised for his scoring exploits by receiving the Gerd Muller Trophy for best striker. He scored 52 goals for City last season.
Haaland said: “It’s a huge honour to receive the Gerd Muller Trophy. I couldn’t have scored the number of goals I did last season without all of my team-mates… I’m proud of what we achieved as a team last season, but our focus now is on trying to do it all again.”
Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez played a crucial role in Argentina’s World Cup triumph and claimed the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper. Real Madrid sensation Jude Bellingham was handed the Kopa Trophy for best young player.