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Lionel Messi Makes Heartfelt Gesture for FC Barcelona Despite Winning 8th Ballon d’Or at Inter Miami

Published Feb 19, 2024 | 10:54 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Lionel Messi has never fallen short of creating history. Months ago, the Argentine etched his name in the history books to become the first-ever MLS player to win his 8th Ballon d’Or. Though the prestigious award win came with his new side, Inter Miami, that didn’t stop La Pulga from making a heartwarming gesture for FC Barcelona.

“FC Barcelona is the club that I will love my whole life.” This statement speaks volumes, as Messi has proved that he is a man of his word. According to reports from Spanish journalist Miquel Blazquez, the Inter Miami skipper has chosen to donate his 8th Ballon d’Or title to the Barcelona museum. Although he earned the award while playing for David Beckham‘s soccer franchise, then why would the 36-year-old star make this gesture? 

via Reuters

Lionel Messi made the gesture of giving it up to ensure it finds a place alongside the other six he earned during his tenure with Barcelona (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019) and one with PSG (2021). This is not the first time he has done this. He made a similar gesture when he won his 7th Ballon d’Or at PSG. Notably, he even became the first player in the history of PSG to win the Golden Ball. Unfortunately, that brought him into deep trouble as well.

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How did Lionel Messi’s 7th Ballon d’Or land him in hot waters? 

Earlier, there were reports alleging that PSG had influenced Lionel Messi’s 2021 Ballon d’Or victory. Allegations surfaced suggesting that PSG’s director of communications, Jean-Martial Ribes, was under investigation for purported corruption and influence peddling. Ribes, along with PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, reportedly attempted to sway Pascal Ferre, the former head of France Football and the individual responsible for the Ballon d’Or.

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It was claimed that PSG offered various favors, including gifts and trips, to bolster Messi’s chances of winning the award while he was with the Parisian club. However, the Ligue 1 giants were quick enough to deny the allegations.

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Likewise, a Spanish analyst also came in defense of Messi, claiming that ‘woe betide anyone who wants to tarnish his legacy.’ Notably, this isn’t the first time Pascal Ferre has been embroiled in Ballon d’Or controversies. In the past, Cristiano Ronaldo accused Ferre of spreading untrue information about his goal to beat Messi in Ballon d’Or victories.

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However, things have settled down, leaving Lionel Messi to celebrate his record-breaking seventh victory in peace.

WATCH THIS STORY: Max Verstappen joins Lionel Messi in creating special historic feat

Written by:

Abhishek Mishra

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Abhishek Mishra is a senior Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. His early exposure to playing soccer earned him many accolades at college divisions, making him a sports enthusiast. While closely following daily updates for over a decade, Abhishek is well-versed in European soccer and now the MLS, as well.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz