Happy Birthday Diego: Lionel Messi pays tribute to Maradona after winning Ballon d’Or 2023

Football great and Argentina captain Lionel Messi dedicated his eighth Ballon d’Or to another Argentina legend, Diego Maradona. Messi beat Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and PSG star Kylian Mbappe to claim the coveted title for a record time on Monday, October 30. Messi’s win came after he led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup 2022. After winning the award, the 36-year-old remembered Diego in his acceptance speech, who would have celebrated his 63rd birthday yesterday.

Maradona passed away at the age of 60 in November 2020. Accepting his award, the Inter Miami captain said, “Finally, I would like to mention Diego. Today is his birthday. I think there is no better place than here to wish him a happy birthday. Here is full of players, coaches, and people who like football as he did. Wherever you are, happy birthday Diego. This is for you I share it with you and Argentina. Good evening and thank you very much.”

Watch the video here: 

Messi went on to say, “This award comes hand in hand with what has been achieved with the Argentina team. This is a gift to the players, coaching staff, and the all people in Argentina.” By winning the title for the eighth time, Messi became the first Major League Soccer (MLS) player to win the prestigious title. 

Apart from Messi, the list of Ballon d’Or awards had names like Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona Femení, Spain), who won the Ballon d’Or Feminin award. Not only this, but Erling Haaland and Emiliano Martinez won the Gerd Muller and Yashin Trophy, respectively. The Best Men’s Club of the Year award went to Manchester City and FC Barcelona Femeni won among women’s clubs. 


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