Kaka welcomed Lionel Messi to the exclusive ‘Triple Crown’ club after the legendary forward won the World Cup with Argentina.
Messi, playing in what is presumed to have been the finalWorld Cupof his illustrious career, inspiredArgentinato glory in Qatar with a series of breathtaking performances throughout the tournament.
This was the crowning moment of Messi’s career. It’s the achievement which, for many, puts him firmly alongside the latePeleandDiego Maradonaon the pantheon of all-time greats.
Messi joins the ‘Triple Crown’ club – what is it?
Messi’s World Cup triumph saw him join an exclusive list of players, becoming the ninth players to join the ‘Triple Crown’ club.
But what is the ‘Triple Crown’ club, we hear you cry.
Every player on the list has won the World Cup, theUEFA Champions Leagueand at least one Ballon d’Or.
What was Kaka’s message to Lionel Messi?
On his Instagram story, Kaka posted a graphic alongside the caption: “Welcome to the club, Leo Messi.”
Who is in football’s ‘Triple Crown’ club?
Let’s check out the list in full:
Sir Bobby Charlton
World Cup 1966 (England); European Cup 1968 (Manchester United); Ballon d’Or 1966.
The only Englishman to make the list so far, the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton won the World Cup and Ballon d’Or in the same year (1966) before lifting the European Cup withManchester Unitedtwo years later.
World Cup 1974 (West Germany); European Cup 1974, 1975, 1976 (Bayern Munich); Ballon d’Or 1972, 1976
One of the greatest German footballers ever – if not *the* greatest – Franz Beckenbauer is the only player on this list, other than Messi, to have won the Ballon d’Or more than once.
World Cup 1974 (West Germany); European Cup 1974, 1975, 1976 (Bayern Munich); Ballon d’Or 1970
Beckenbauer’s former teammate, Gerd Muller is one of the most prolific strikers in football history. Few players either before or since Muller have made scoring goals look so straightforward.
FIFA is deeply saddened at the passing of Gerd Muller. ‘Der Bomber’ won the Golden Boot at the 1970 #WorldCup and scored the winner as West Germany lifted the trophy four years later.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the German football community. RIP Gerd. pic.twitter.com/b9vuLtGbxk
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) August 15, 2021
World Cup 1982 (Italy); European Cup 1985 (Juventus); Ballon d’Or 1982
Winner of the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 1982 World Cup, Italy’s Paolo Rossi then went on to lift the European Cup with Juventus three years later.
Paolo Rossi: I’ll always remember you this way ⬇️
World Cup ‘82 was when my generation was falling deeply, madly in love with football
Brazil were the team we wanted to win but Paolo was the star of the show
Another iconic player gone: RIP pic.twitter.com/CiYW93gvMC
— Rob Draper (@draper_rob) December 10, 2020
World Cup 1998 (France); Champions League 2002 (Real Madrid); Ballon d’Or 1998
Zinedine Zidane turned football into art. His two headed goals in the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil earned him the Ballon d’Or.
He won the Champions League withReal Madridfour years later, scoring one of the greatest goals of all time against Bayer Leverkusen in the final at Hampden Park.
World Cup 2002 (Brazil); Champions League 2003 (AC Milan); Ballon d’Or 1999
The 1999 Ballon d’Or went to Rivaldo after he helped Brazil win the Copa America that year.
The gifted playmaker went on to win the World Cup in South Korea/Japan three years later before adding the Champions League to his collection of trophies in 2003.
World Cup 2002 (Brazil); Champions League 2006 (Barcelona); Ballon d’Or 2005
One of the sport’s biggest icons during the opening decade of the 21st century, Ronaldinho provided joy to millions of football fans thanks to his remarkable ability.
At his untouchable peak during his first few years atBarcelona, Ronaldinho deservedly claimed the Ballon d’Or award in 2005.
World Cup 2002 (Brazil); Champions League 2007 (AC Milan); Ballon d’Or 2007
Kaka is arguably a little fortunate to be on the list considering he hardly featured at the 2002 World Cup, but the fact of the matter is he has the medal.
Kaka was almost unplayable in 2007 and won the Ballon d’Or after lifting the Champions League trophy with AC Milan.
World Cup 2022 (Argentina); Champions League 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015 (Barcelona); Ballon d’Or 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021.