Lionel Messi did not forget his former club Barcelona during his celebration of achieving the eighth Ballon d'Or, and also dedicated the title to the spirit of Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona.
The Argentine star won the award for 2023 after leading Argentina to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Messi spoke in remarks quoted by the newspaper Marca about Barcelona after the coronation, "I was very lucky, I was in the best club in the world (Barcelona), it is the best club in history, I was able to win many individual awards thanks to that."
"I had bad times with Argentina, but I never gave up, we won the Copa America and the World Cup, that's why I'm proud not to give up."
As for Maradona, he said, "I want to mention Maradona, happy birthday, I think there is no better place than here to congratulate him, this Ballon d'Or is also yours and the whole ball of Argentina."
"It's going to be a nice competition between Haaland and Mbappe and the many young players here, both deserve it this year, Erling, it could have been yours and it could have been completely yours."
It is noteworthy that Erling Haaland came in second place in the Ballon d'Or vote behind Messi, and also won the Gerd Muller Award for the best scorer in the world, while Mbappe came in third place and behind Kevin De Bruyne in fourth place.