2023 Ballon d’Or: How Messi Beat Haaland and Mbappe to His 8th Award by Points

2023 Ballon d’Or: How Messi Beat Haaland and Mbappe to His 8th Award by Points

Elijah Odetokun
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Kylian Mbappé logo
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  • Lionel Messi won the 2023 Ballon d'Or, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe
  • The award generated controversy, with some fans dubbing it rigged to favour the Argentine
  • France Football has released how the voting was done to clarify all doubts

Lionel Messi won his 8th Ballon d'Or and what could be his last, edging out Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe.

Messi and Haaland were the top two contenders, and it was the World Cup winner against the treble winner, but antecedents also favour the man who had won it seven times before.

Lionel Messi, Ballon d'Or, Paris.
Lionel Messi giving his acceptance speech after winning his eighth Ballon d'Or. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain.
Source: Getty Images

Since it became public knowledge that the Argentina captain had been informed of his record-extending victory, there had been an outcry on social media that the City striker was robbed.

Messi beat Haaland by points

Per Diario AS, the award is voted for by one journalist each from countries in the top 100 countries on the FIFA ranking, and each is allowed to vote for the top five based on the criteria given.

The votes for the 2023 award have been released, and per AlbicelesteTalk, Messi beat Haaland with a 105-point margin to clear all doubt that it was a close contest.

The Inter Miami forward had 462 points, while the Norwegian striker had 357. France forward Kylian Mbappe came third with 270 points. Messi and Haaland received their country's number-one votes, while France voted for the Premier League star over their captain.

Kevin De Bruyne with 100 points and Spanish midfielder Rodri with 57 points were the rest of the top five, while Victor Osimhen had 24 points to place 8th, the first Nigerian in the top 10, as voted as 4th by his country.

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Suarez challenges Messi for 9th Ballon d'Or

Sports Brief has also reported on former teammate and friend Luis Suarez challenging Messi to win his ninth Ballon d'Or and not stop at eight.

Suarez commented on Messi's post on Instagram, celebrating his achievements and cheekily asked him to go for more as he deserves that.

Messi dedicates Ballon d'Or to Maradona

Sports Brief also reported on Messi dedicating his award to Diego Maradona after picking up his eighth Ballon d'Or on the football legend's posthumous birthday.

The Argentine icon passed away three years ago and did not witness his country winning another FIFA World Cup after helping them win it in 1986 in Mexico.

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.