By Sabiu Abdullahi
Lionel Messi, the iconic Argentine forward, has seized the Ballon d’Or for an unprecedented eighth time.
Messi, who now graces the fields of Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, achieved this remarkable milestone after steering Argentina to its maiden World Cup triumph in Qatar last year.
Not only did he guide his nation to glory, but he was also honoured with the Golden Ball award, recognising his stellar performance as the tournament’s standout player.
His achievement widens the gap between him and his perennial rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who notably did not feature on the shortlist for the first time since 2003.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, currently plies his trade with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
Having bid adieu to European football at the conclusion of the last season, exiting after a successful stint with Paris Saint-Germain, where he clinched back-to-back Ligue 1 titles, Messi embarked on a new chapter in his illustrious career with Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.