Lionel Messi: Luis Suarez Challenges Inter Miami Star to Go for 9th Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi: Luis Suarez Challenges Inter Miami Star to Go for 9th Ballon d’Or

Elijah Odetokun
updated at November 1, 2023 at 8:50 AM
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  • Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe
  • The award generated controversy, with many fans claiming Haaland deserved it more
  • Luis Suarez has congratulated Messi and cheekily asked him to go for the ninth gong

Lionel Messi's record-extending Ballon d'Or could be his last, but his former teammate and friend Luis Suarez does not want it to end there and urged him to go for more.

Messi won the Golden Ball for the 8th time in his career, beating competition from Manchester City striker, Erling Haaland and former Paris Saint-Germain star, Kylian Mbappe.

His World Cup exploits for Argentina gave him an advantage, but that was not all. His performances to help PSG win back-to-back French Ligue 1 titles were overlooked by many.

Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Ballon d'Or, 2021.
Luis Suarez presented Lionel Messi's seventh Ballon d'Or in 2021. Photo by Franck Fife/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

He now plays for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, which could limit his chances of competing for another award, and it may as well be his last time on the podium.

Suarez wants Messi to win 9th Ballon d'Or

Messi celebrated his win on his Instagram page, appreciating everyone who contributed to his success and the fans worldwide who were rooting for him.

His former Barcelona teammate, Suarez commented under the post, as spotted by Barca Worldwide, asking him not to rest on his laurels and go for more.

"How great you are, fatty! Now work hard to get 9th. Have fun because you deserve it so much," he wrote.

Per Goal, Messi does not agree with his friend after confirming during his acceptance speech that he has stopped thinking about individual awards for some time now, and it is his last.

"I stopped thinking about the Ballon d'Or. I think it’s my last Ballon d'Or. And I'm happy to have achieved everything I've achieved and to be the only player with eight Ballons d'Or. And that's all," he said.

Suarez to reunite with Messi in Miami?

Sports Brief previously reported on Tata Martino confirming that Inter Miami will try to sign Suarez before the MLS 2024 season kicks off, having failed in previous attempts to sign the Uruguayan.

The former Liverpool forward will leave Brazilian club Gremio in December despite having a contract until December 2024, and a reunion with former Barca contingents is the likeliest move.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.