Former Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi lifted his eighth Ballon d’Or on Monday. Behind the Argentine were Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and ex-PSG teammate Kylian Mbappé.
Mbappé went on Instagram to congratulate the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner publicly. The Frenchman stated that Messi deserved to win the award. However, did the PSG star have a different reaction behind the scenes?
Le Parisien journalist Benjamin Quarez revealed the instant reaction that the winger had when the award went to Messi.
“He was disappointed,” Quarez said on Thursday’s L’Equipe du Soir (h/t Le10Sport). “He aimed to win the Ballon d’Or and finished third, while he scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final.”
Mbappé will likely play the rest of the 2023-24 season with a chip on his shoulder. He’ll aim to win the Ballon d’Or in 2024, and there are opportunities to beef up his candidacy.
If the forward can captain France to a UEFA Euro 2024 victory and possibly a gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics to go along with his production at the club level, he’ll have a solid resume for the award.
Haaland might not play at the Euros, as Norway must now hope to claim one of the three available playoff spots after it failed to qualify via the group stage. Should Mbappé and PSG go far in the UEFA Champions League and secure two international achievements next summer, he might lock up the 2024 Ballon d’Or.