Messi’s teammates honoured him after his record breaking eighth Ballon d’Or victory.
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami teammates celebrated the Argentine’s eighth Ballon d’Or win with an incredible gesture. The World Cup winner made history last night, reaffirming his position as the most decorated player in the history of the award.
Having first won the prestigious golden ball in 2009, Messi’s victory last night will likely mark the culmination of his glittering career. He overcame the challenge of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and former teammate Kylian Mbappe to claim the trophy.
He also became the first player to win the award while playing for a team in the MLS. The forward joined David Beckham’s Inter Miami on a free transfer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain was allowed to expire. The Inter Miami players were on hand to celebrate the Barcelona legend’s success with a beautiful act of support.
The present Inter Miami players gave Lionel Messi after Ballon d’Or win
As shared on Inter Miami’s social media, the ten-time La Liga winner arrived to training with his teammates armed with confetti cannons and a guard of honour. They also all signed a golden number eight to commemorate the amount of Ballon d’Or’s the Argentinian had won in his career.
The impact Messi has had since joining the MLS side has been undeniable. The club were the worst team in the MLS at the time of his arrival, amassing just eighteen points. However, alongside former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, the number 10 inspired his side to a 12 match unbeaten run, including eight victories.
It all of a sudden looked as though Miami could find themselves in playoff contention. A hamstring injury to their talisman ended up putting that dream to bed, as they were unable to recreate their form without the little magician upfront.
Despite this, it was still the most successful season in the clubs short history thanks to their success in the inaugural League’s Cup tournament. In the final, Messi scored the team’s only goal over 120 minutes, eventually overcoming Nashville on penalties.
Head coach Gerardo Martino spoke highly of the impact that the Ballon d’Or winner has had on his team. Via the official MLS website, Martino stated: “The first impact that the footballers have, the arrival of Leo and the arrival of Busquets, I think it has given [teammates] a lot of confidence. They feel more supported, they feel that the responsibility is carried by the great players. And then they feel more liberated to play.”
Messi’s magical career by numbers
Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or win last night is just the tip of the iceberg of his illustrious career.
With more goal contributions than appearances for club and country, Argentina’s record goalscorer left European football having amassed 40 trophies. He was then able to add to this tally by bringing Inter Miami the first trophy in their history earlier this year.