Lionel Messi said that the Ballon d’Or does not matter to him as much as it did before, after Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year.

Presented annually by France Football magazine since 1956, the Ballon d’Or is widely considered the sport’s highest individual honor. Messi (7) has the most victories in the award’s history and is one of the first to win it for the eighth time later this year.

The Argentina icon starred in his team’s victory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring seven goals in as many matches and also getting three assists. The World Cup was the last missing item in his trophy cabinet.

Lionel Messi called it the “most important award” of his career at the moment. The 35-year-old recently said (via @AlbicelesteTalk on Twitter):

“Does the Ballon d’Or matter to me? No, at this point in my life, it is no longer important to me. I have always said, individual awards are not what matters to me, but collective awards are the most important to me. The most important award at the moment is the World Cup. This is it.” The biggest prize for me.”

Lionel Messi last won the Ballon d’Or in 2021. This year could be his last realistic chance to win the title again, as he is expected to join MLS side Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

No player has finished on the Ballon d’Or podium while playing for a club outside Europe.

What the Argentine coach said about Lionel Messi’s chances of winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said that Lionel Messi deserves to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

Paris Saint-Germain was knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the last 16 by Bayern Munich last season. However, they did win the Ligue 1 title, with the Argentine scoring 16 goals and 16 assists in 32 matches.

Scaloni said during the Post-2022 FIFA World Cup Coaches Forum in Doha (as reported by TyC Sports):

“We still have time to see the Ballon d’Or. Without a doubt, I’ll give it to Messi. We’ll see who gets it. Haaland is on an incredible level; he’s broken all the records.”

Since the aforementioned quote, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland has solidified his claim to the Ballon d’Or. His team won a historic treble this season, with the Norway international scoring 53 times in 52 matches across competitions.

Haaland finished the season as the top scorer in the Premier League (36) and the Champions League (12).

Paul Merson predicts the outcome of the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter! click here

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