The ranking for the Ballon d’Or saw Lionel Messi claim his eighth award, with his former Paris Saint-Germain Kylian Mbappé finishing in third place, right behind Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
Nonetheless, Messi and Mbappé made French football history on Monday. Stats Foot highlighted on Twitter that it’s the first time a French club has had two players in the top three for the Ballon d’Or.
— Stats Foot (@Statsdufoot) October 30, 2023
Messi spoke after winning the honor and noted that Haaland and Mbappé’s time will come when they’re battling for the Ballon d’Or. This ceremony was also the end of an era. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo won’t dominate the award beginning in 2024.
“They are two extraordinary players,” Messi said. “I shared two years in the same club (at PSG) with Kylian Mbappé. I know his talent—his immense talent.
“He is a player still very young. Both are still young. In the future, we will find them again. Haaland also has an extraordinary career. I am convinced that they will also be winners of the Ballon d’Or very soon.”
Now it will be up to the Norwegian and Frenchmen to carry that torch and see if either can run off winning the award at a frequent pace. Mbappé has a chance with international competition with the 2024 UEFA Euro and summer Olympics to make his case along with club football.