Lionel Messi makes Ballon d’Or claim as opinion on award changes

Following his World Cup triumph with Argentina, Lionel Messi’s desire to win the Ballon d’Or award has lessened. Messi holds the record for the highest number of Ballon d’Or victories in history, having secured the accolade seven times.

The award, typically designated for the best player in the world, acknowledes the accomplishments of football players on a global scale.

In a press conference hosted by Inter Miami on Thursday, Messi addressed his affiliation with the award. Rather than emphasising his own victories, Messi shared an altered perspective on the award, influenced by his transition towards objectives centred around team performance.

“I have said it many times, the Ballon d’Or is very important due to the recognition at an individual level, but I never gave it importance,” said Messi. “Because the most important thing for me was always the prizes at the group level.”

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“I was lucky to have achieved everything in my career, and after the World Cup, I’m thinking about that award much less; my biggest award was that, and I’m disguising my moment. If it arrives well, nothing happens. I was lucky to achieve all my goals in my career, and now I have new goals with this club.”

Kaka alone is the sole player in MLS history to achieve both a Ballon d’Or and a World Cup triumph. Notably, Kaka secured his World Cup victory in 2002, while his Ballon d’Or accolade followed in 2007—seven years prior to his inaugural appearance with Orlando.

In contrast, Lionel Messi clinched his most recent Ballon d’Or distinction in 2021 and later secured a World Cup victory in December 2022. Should he secure the award once again, Messi would make history as the first active MLS player to be honoured with the award.

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Online sportsbooks have positioned Messi as the frontrunner for the award. His odds have surged following his pivotal role in steering his team to a World Cup triumph and securing victory in Ligue 1 while playing for PSG. Below is a breakdown of how the odds for the Argentine international compare to those of other global contenders, according to

Lionel Messi (Inter Miami): 1/6

Erling Haaland (Manchester City): 9/1

Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid): 40/1

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City): 40/1

Rodri (Manchester City) 50/1

Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona): 66/1

Kylain Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain): 66/1

Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad): 80/1

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli): 200/1

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid): 200/1

Harry Kane: (Bayern Munich): 250/1

Messi is also on the brink of expanding his trophy collection less than a month after joining Inter Miami. The 36-year-old netted his ninth goal in six matches, pushing his team to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in the semi-finals.

Inter Miami will face off against Nashville FC in the upcoming Leagues Cup final. The highly anticipated match is slated for Saturday, August 19, with the kick-off scheduled for 9pm ET / 2am GMT Sunday.

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