Updated February 21st, 2024 at 13:07 IST

A remarkable act: Lionel Messi donates 8th Ballon D'or to his ex-club, touching display of loyalty

Lionel Messi's touching display of loyalty: He donates 8th Ballon D'Or to his ex-club, showcasing a remarkable act of generosity and gratitude.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Lionel Messi with the Ballon d'Or award in Paris, France | Image:AP
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Lionel Messi is undeniably one of the greatest footballers in history. The 36-year-old icon boasts an astounding 8 Ballon d'Or titles and currently graces the field for MLS team Inter Miami. Yet, nothing compares to Messi's illustrious tenure with FC Barcelona, where his unparalleled devotion to the club has cemented a legacy in the world of football. 

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Lionel Messi donates his 8th Ballon d’Or to FC Barcelona 

Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain, won his record-breaking eighth Ballon d'Or in October 2023, outperforming other nominees and defeating difficult opponents such as Norway's Erling Haaland, the UEFA Player of the Year and Mancheter City's treble winner. Messi's incredible performance adds another legendary chapter to his historic career, cementing his place as one of the greatest football players of all time.

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Messi's Ballon d'Or victory followed Argentina's historic victory against France in the 2022 World Cup final, in which Messi played a key part in bringing his country to its first World Cup title in 36 years. His tremendous talent and leadership on the pitch contributed to Argentina's victory, solidifying his status as a football great.

Despite leaving Barcelona in 2021 and then having a 2-year stint at PSG, Messi went on to join David Beckham's MLS outfit Inter Miami, Messi maintains strong ties to his previous club. Messi has not forgotten his humble beginnings, as Barcelona's motto, "Mes Que Un Club" (More Than a Club), emphasises. In a show of respect and affection for Barcelona, Messi graciously donated his eighth Ballon d'Or to the Barcelona Museum, where it will be placed among the seven others he won during his great career.

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The choice to gift his eighth Ballon d'Or to Barcelona's museum reflects Messi's long-standing affection and respect for the club that helped shape his remarkable career. Spanish journalist Miquel Blázquez praised Messi's gesture on social media, emphasising the Argentine star's enduring commitment to Barcelona despite his departure. Messi's gesture of kindness cements his place as a revered figure in the hearts of Barcelona supporters across the world, who continue to value his contributions to the club's long history.

As Barcelona focuses on their match against Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. The Argentine legend will kick-off his MLS season with Inter Miami, where Messi will lead the squad against Real Salt Lake on Thursday. 

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Published February 21st, 2024 at 13:07 IST