At the annual French football awards ceremony, Aitana Bonmatí and Lionel Messi were declared the 2023 Ballon d’Or winners.
After winning player of the tournament and playing for Barcelona Femení, who won the continental triple with 118 goals scored and 10 goals conceded in the league, Bonmatí was regarded as the clear favorite as Spain won their first World Cup. Sam Kerr, a Chelsea and Australia striker, finished in second position, followed by Salma Paralluelo, a teammate from Barcelona and Spain.
In addition to thanking her family, teammates, and Barcelona president Joan Laporta for their support of her career, Bonmatí stated that the football world has a responsibility as “role models” to fight for equality on the same day that former Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales was banned from football activities for three years following a FIFA disciplinary committee investigation into his behavior at the Women’s World Cup final.
“On and off the pitch, we have a responsibility,” stated Bonmatí. “We ought to be more than just sportsmen. Continue setting an example and uniting in your struggle for a more equitable, peaceful, and better world.
Following their run to the World Cup final, England’s Rachel Daly, Georgia Stanway, Millie Bright, and Mary Earps were on the shortlist for the women’s award but were unable to attend due to international obligations.
Among the England players, Earps came in top place with a fifth place finish, followed by Daly in 10th place and Bright in 11th place. Stanway came in 23rd place, one spot ahead of her former teammate, Jamaica international Khadija Shaw.
Messi was the favorite following his World Cup-winning season with Argentina, and he was present to accept his record-tying eighth award on what would have been the renowned countryman Diego Maradona’s 63rd birthday. David Beckham, the owner of Inter Miami, presented the award to the recipient.
Argentina now leads all other countries in wins by number (eight), with Messi’s triumph placing them above France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal, who all had seven.
“I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had,” Messi remarked. All that I have accomplished. The luck I’ve had to play for the greatest team in history and the greatest team in the world. Winning these unique prizes is a pleasant feeling. It’s incredible that they won the Copa America and the World Cup.