The Argentine superstar was named the winner for the eighth time in his career on Monday night in Paris. He finished top of the standings following his World Cup heroics last year in Qatar.
Manchester City striker Haaland was named as the runner-up after firing Pep Guardiola ’s side to an historic treble last term. Messi’s former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Mbappe finished third in the standings following his outstanding displays at the World Cup – as well as in Ligue 1.
Speaking after being presented his award by David Beckham, Messi hailed both Haaland and Mbappe and claimed that they are sure to eventually win the Ballon d’Or later in their respective careers.
He said: “This Ballon d’Or is a gift for all of Argentina. But, I don’t want to forget Haaland or Mbappe, who had a great year, spectacular, and in the coming years they will win this award.
“The level never goes down, I’ve been lucky to be here for many years. I want to give special mention to all those people who were happy that Argentina were world champion.
“Thanks also to all my family, my wife, my children, for being there in the worst moments, and helping me to fulfil my dreams in football. Without you it would not have been possible.”
After being backed to claim the prestigious award later in his career, Mbappe had a message of support for his former PSG teammate. Taking to Instagram, the 24-year-old wrote: “Congratulations Leo for your award. You deserve it.”
Mbappe has previously revealed that it is his childhood dream to claim the Ballon d’Or. Speaking to France Football last season, he said: “In the face of this glistening trophy we all become kids again. We all watch this ceremony with the players arriving on the red carpet thinking ‘one day it’ll be me.’
“I’m sure many dream of those moments, imagining the stress of waiting for the rankings to be revealed, sitting next to the greatest players on the planet. In fact, that’s it; the Ballon d’Or awakens our childhood dreams in us. We can win titles, other awards, but this is the Holy Grail.”
While Mbappe is unable to celebrate a Ballon d’Or triumph, domestic success could do his chances a favour for next year’s iteration. Despite sitting second to Nice in Ligue 1, PSG are still favourites to win the title. They are also top of their Champions League group ahead of Newcastle, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan.