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Lionel Messi’s New Look Could Offer Clue About the Ballon d’Or Winner
- Lionel Messi was spotted in Inter Miami training with a shaved beard
- The Argentine star often does this before the Ballon d'Or ceremonies
- This year's gala for the sport's top stars will take place on October 30
Lionel Messi made his comeback to Inter Miami training with a freshly shaven appearance, bidding farewell to his iconic 'lucky' beard.
The Argentine superstar rejoined training last week after the international break but it was his smooth look that sent social media into a frenzy.
While Messi typically flaunts a classic bearded look, this new and polished style has rejuvenated his appearance, making him appear youthful once more.
The Argentine has decided to go clean-shaven for the first time since his Paris Saint-Germain days in 2021, just before the Ballon d'Or presentation, per GOAL.
Did Messi shave beard for Ballon d'Or photos?
There are several compelling reasons to consider this as a possibility, per Barca Worldwide.
In 2021, following a stellar season with Barcelona where he helped secure the Copa del Rey and after Argentina's victory in the 2021 Copa America, Messi arrived in Paris as a prominent contender for the Ballon d'Or.
A few weeks before he was revealed as the winner that year, he missed a training session with the club due to apparent 'medical reasons' and returned the following day with a clean-shaven appearance.
This change in his look appeared to be in preparation for the annual Ballon d'Or winner's photoshoot. In the same year, just two days before the ceremony in late November, Messi was spotted with yet another clean-shaven look.
This year, as a leading candidate for the 2023 Ballon d'Or once again - given his victory in Ligue 1 and the World Cup with Argentina - he did not feature in Inter Miami's away loss against Atlanta United on Sunday.
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Messi was then seen at Monday's training session with the club, once more sporting a clean-shaven look.
Is this a clear indication of the winner on October 30 or simply another intriguing fan theory?
Martino explains Messi's injury
The Argentine was spotted holding his hamstring during a warm-up but the coach claimed this was due to his previous injury, which left him sidelined against Bolivia.
Social media users were quick to note a clip of an exhausted Messi sitting on the bench for Inter Miami, tilting his head back and appearing to be in significant discomfort.