Former Barcelona ace Ronaldinho congratulated his ex-teammate Lionel Messi after the latter’s 2023 Ballon d’Or win.
The Argentine lifted the prestigious individual award for a record eighth time on Monday night, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to it.
Tributes poured in from all around the football world as Messi was crowned the best in the world once again, including one from his former teammate.
Ronaldinho, who played almost five years with Messi at Barcelona, took to Twitter to send his good wishes. He wrote:
“Congratulations Leo Messi once again the best in the world!!! Very happy for you my brother… A big hug 🤙🏾”
Ronaldinho is himself a Ballon d’Or winner, having won the prize in 2005 with Barcelona. He and Messi shared a close friendship on the field and remain in good terms with each other even today.
The Brazilian, in fact, assisted Messi with his first goal for Barcelona, back in 2004. The pair’s subsequent photo of Messi celebrating on Ronaldinho’s back, has gained iconic status in the years since.
Messi guided Argentina to their third World Cup title last year, joining a host of legends to lift the ultimate prize in football.
Messi struck seven times at the tournament, including twice in the finals, while assisting four more. In addition to this, he also scored 21 goals for PSG from 41 games in all competitions.
Manchester City star Erling Haaland, who won the treble last season and scored 52 goals in the process, came in at second, while PSG star Kylian Mbappe finished third.
Is this Lionel Messi’s last Ballon d’Or?
Lionel Messi extended his Ballon d’Or record to eight with his win last night, but this might just be the last of his career.
While he’s very much active in the footballing circuit, Messi is 36 now, and plies his trade away from the glare of European football, having moved across the Pacific to join Inter Miami this summer.
He’s taken to the USA by storm, netting 11 times from 14 games, but it’s hard to see him pick up another Ballon d’Or for achievements in a league that’s considered a tier or two below those of Europe.
Nonetheless, Messi’s achievement of eight Ballon d’Or looks like it’s never going to be surpass (or even matched, for that matter). Greatest of all time?