OREANDA-NEWS Argentine striker Lionel Messi has won the Golden Ball, an award presented by France Football magazine to the best footballer in the world.

The 36-year-old striker, who defends the colors of the American club Inter Miami at the club level, received the prize at an award ceremony in Paris on Monday. In the 2022/23 season, he became the world champion, and as part of Paris Saint-Germain, he became the champion of France.

Thus, Messi received the Golden Ball for the eighth time in his career, which is a record in the history of the trophy. Earlier, Messi had received the "Golden ball" in 2009, 2010, 2011 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021 years. The second place is taken by the Portuguese forward of the Saudi club "Al Nasr" Cristiano Ronaldo – five trophies. But this time he could not compete with Messi, because for the first time since 2003 he did not get on the list of contenders.

The Norwegian striker of the English Manchester City Erling Holand took the second place according to the results of the voting to choose the best player in the world. The Norwegian also received the Gerd Muller award as the best scorer: in the 2022/23 season, he scored 56 goals. Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe was third in the number of votes.

Among the contenders for the award was the Georgian midfielder of the Italian "Napoli" Hvich Kvaratskhelia, who has experience of playing in the Russian championship (for Lokomotiv Moscow and Rubin Kazan). He took 17th place - one line below the French striker Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/Al-Ittihad).

Manchester City is recognized as the best club, in 2023 it won four tournaments: the English Championship, the FA Cup, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup.

The best women's team was the Spanish "Barcelona", the best football player was the player of this team and the Spanish national team Aitana Bonmati. In 2023, she became the world champion.

Argentine Emiliano Martinez became the winner of the Lev Yashin award, presented by France Football magazine to the best goalkeeper in the world.