Eighth Ballon d’or for Messi, says not thinking about long-term future

PARIS: Lionel Messi won his 8th Ballon d’or on October 30 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. The Argentinian captain said that he was not thinking about his long-term future as he sought to enjoy winning the eighth Ballon d’Or of his storied career. Messi, 36, succeeded Karim Benzema as winner of the prize, awarded on the back of his performances last season, when he took his team, Argentina to achieve the world cup at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“The last one I won was also thanks to what we achieved with the Argentine national team in the Copa America (in 2021), but this one is much more special because it comes after we won the World Cup,” Messi told various media including AFP after collecting his award at a ceremony in Paris. Speaking of the award he said: “That is the trophy everyone wants to win the most, and it was a dream come true for me, my teammates and my country.”
He dragged Argentina to a victory in Qatar that crowned his remarkable career and allowed him to see off stiff competition for the Ballon d’Or from Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in particular.

Messi received his first Ballon d’Or in 2009 and in that year, he had an underwhelming final season at Paris Saint-Germain, before leaving to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer. He played down suggestions he could come back for another Ballon d’Or, possibly after the next World Cup in 2026, when he will be 39.
“I am not thinking about the long-term future. I am just enjoying the day-to-day at the moment,” he said. “We have a Copa America coming up in the United States, where I am now, in which we are the holders, so I am looking forward to coming into that in good shape and then just see how I am getting on from there.”

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