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The Goat Stands Alone: Messi Claims Record 8th Ballon d'Or

With his latest Ballon d'Or win, Lionel Messi has cemented his status as the greatest of all time. The Argentine legend now holds the record for the most victories, claiming the prestigious honour for an unprecedented eighth time.

Messi edged out Manchester City phenom Erling Haaland and France star Kylian Mbappe to take home the 2022 award. His triumph comes on the heels of leading Argentina to long-awaited World Cup glory in Qatar last year.

Accepting the award in Paris, an emotional Messi said, "It's amazing to be here again for this recognition. To finally achieve my dream of winning the World Cup, I couldn't ask for more."

The 36-year-old forward has enjoyed a stunning 2022, also leading Inter Miami to their first trophy in the Leagues Cup. With 11 goals in 14 MLS appearances, Messi has propelled the expansion side's inaugural season.

His Ballon d'Or haul now stands at a staggering eight trophies, three more than arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo. For the first time since 2003, the Portuguese legend was omitted from the shortlist entirely.

While Ronaldo's powers have declined with age, Messi continues to shine brighter than ever. With his unmatched vision, left-footed wizardry and big-game brilliance, the diminutive maestro has staked his claim as the greatest footballer ever.

For over a decade, Messi and Ronaldo have dueled for supremacy in the beautiful game. But with this latest milestone, the Argentine has emerged alone at the pinnacle of the sport's pantheon. Still performing at an elite level well into his 30s, the end of Messi's reign seems nowhere in sight.

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