Lionel Messi was crowned with the prestigious Ballon d'Or award for a record-extending eighth time on Monday night following his World Cup-winning exploits in the calendar year.
With this, Messi also became the first player from the Major League Soccer (MLS) to win the award. He represents MLS club Inter Miami, which he joined after the conclusion of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
English football icon and the owner of Inter Miami, David Beckham presented Messi with the award. He had previously claimed the gong in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.
As he approaches the twilight years of his career, it is almost impossible to comprehend the achievements Messi has seen come his way since the young boy from Santa Fe made his first appearance in 2004.
Messi's career has lasted for almost 30 years and saw him come face to face with several heartbreaking moments like missing out on the World Cup in 2014. However, in a fitting redemption, Messi went ahead to claim the most prized possession in world football for Argentina in 2022 in Qatar.
Messi scored seven goals en route to winning the tournament for the millions of fans in Argentina and around the world who have grown up watching him play and adore him.
His exploits for French side PSG which saw him become Ligue 1's leading assist provider, earned him the Laureaus Award for best male athlete of 2022 ahead of the likes of Rafael Nadal, Kylian Mbappe, and Stephen Curry.
Messi was also adjudged as the Best Men's player in February during the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony.
He won the Ballon d'Or ahead of Manchester City's Erling Haaland who won a historic treble with the club in 2022-23, and former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe who placed second and third on the final rankings respectively.
Meanwhile, Spanish footballer Aitana Bonmati who represents FC Barcelona and won the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, won the Women's Ballon d'Or award. She was the best player of the tournament and received her gong from Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic.
Manchester City's exploits in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup, and UEFA Super Cup saw them claim the award for 'Club of the Year'.
Moreover, star striker Erling Haaland picked up the 'Gerd Muller Trophy' for the Best Striker of the Year. Haaland scored 56 goals in his debut season for Manchester City and also broke the record for most goals scored by a player in a single Premier League season, held by Mohammed Salah.
Argentina's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the 'Yachine Trophy' for the Goalkeeper of the Year. He represents Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Young British midfielder Jude Bellingham, who moved from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid and has continued his fine form, won the 'Kopa Trophy' for the best U21 player.
Brazilian and Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior won the 'Socrates Award' for founding Insituto Vini Jr for the education of young Brazilians through sports and technology.
FC Barcelona was handed the women's 'Club of the Year' award in the ceremony that was attended by many notable names from the world of football.