Noche d’Or: Lionel Messi Presents Eighth Ballon d’Or Ahead of Inter Miami vs New York City

Noche d’Or: Lionel Messi Presents Eighth Ballon d’Or Ahead of Inter Miami vs New York City

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
  • Lionel Messi presented his eighth Ballon d'Or award for the first time since winning it last month
  • Messi walked out to the DRV PNK pitch on Saturday morning in front of an ecstatic home crowd
  • He beat Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to extend his dominance in the history of the award

Inter Miami fans were, for the very first time on November 11, given an opportunity to see the Ballon d'Or award up close when Lionel Messi presented it to them at the DRV PNK stadium.

The club organised a celebration dubbed the Noche d'Or to recognise Messi's record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or win in his career.

Lionel Messi, Ballon d'Or, Inter Miami
Lionel Messi presents his Ballon d'Or trophy to Inter Miami fans at the DRV PNK Stadium. Photo by Megan Briggs.
Source: Getty Images

Club co-owner David Beckham presented Messi with the Golden Ball at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on October 30. The Argentine beat the treble-winning Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, whom he shared a dressing room with at Paris Saint-Germain, but beat him in the World Cup final.

Messi starred for his country at the Qatar World Cup, winning the best player of the tournament and finishing as the second-highest goalscorer behind Mbappe.

Messi presents Ballon d'Or

He walked out with the Ballon d'Or in front of a jubilant crowd in South Florida ahead of their friendly game against New York City FC.

It is most likely to be Messi's last club game of the season. Tata Martino's side failed to make it to playoffs and thus will only resume league action next year. Messi has already ruled out the possibility of returning to Europe for a short-term loan.

He will be in action for his country next week when they face Uruguay and Brazil in the race to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

Messi celebrates son's birthday

Sports Brief has also reported that Lionel Messi took time to celebrate his son's birthday at the Inter Miami academy a few days after winning another Ballon d'Or title.

Messi flew back to Florida as soon as he received his award in Paris, France and one of his first stops was to visit the Inter Miami academy in what was an inspirational moment.

The Argentine took the Ballon d'Or trophy to the kids as he mingled with them for a photo session in what the club called 'Freedom to Dream.'

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)