The event unfolded on the pitch as Inter Miami, Messi’s Major League Soccer club, faced off against New York City FC in a friendly match specifically arranged to honor his recent accolade.
Lionel Andrés Messi showcased the Ballon d’Or in a celebration of his eighth triumph, a record-breaking feat that solidifies his status as the greatest player in the soccer world
Clad in formal attire at a black-tie event in Paris, Lionel Andrés Messi secured an unprecedented eighth Ballon d’Or win, surpassing the achievements of any other player in this prestigious category.
As Lionel Andrés Messi, holding the coveted trophy, walked onto the gold-carpeted midfield, Commissioner Don Garber and Miami owners Jorge and Jose Mas eagerly awaited him for a brief ceremony. Amidst cheers from the audience, Lionel Andrés Messi expressed gratitude, stating, “It’s a beautiful moment to share with all of you, even though I’ve only been here for a short while, it truly feels like I’ve been a part of this for a long time.”
Despite NYCFC prevailing 2-1 in the game, Lionel Andrés Messi’s on-field contribution included a near tie-breaking 25-yard free kick in stoppage time
The match, though important, took a backseat to the celebration of Messi’s exceptional career. Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino emphasized the significance of joining Messi in celebrating his eighth Ballon d’Or and bidding farewell to the year.
Lionel Andrés Messi thanked the people of Miami for their warm reception during his first four months with the club. Despite the friendly nature of the game, it served as a bonus farewell on home turf as Inter Miami’s regular home schedule concluded weeks earlier. Lionel Andrés Messi, who hadn’t played since the MLS finale in October, is expected to participate in two more matches for Argentina in 2023.