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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Historic Night at 2023 Ballon d’Or Ceremony

AP Photo / Michel Euler

The 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony occurred last Monday, Oct. 30, at the iconic Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France. Last Friday’s glitzy event marked the 67th edition of the prestigious football awards and witnessed remarkable moments of triumph, emotion and surprise.

The Ballon d’Or, established in 1956 by the French magazine France Football, is the most coveted award in football. It honors the world’s best male and female players, recognizing their individual excellence over the past season, as well as awards for the best striker, goalkeeper, club and under-21 player. The evening showcased the talents of footballers from all over the world, and it celebrates the beautiful game at its finest.

Male Ballon d’Or Winner: Lionel Messi

In a much-anticipated announcement, Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi secured the Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time in his career over youngsters Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. The 36-year-old forward had an outstanding year, leading Argentina to its third World Cup and his first as a player. Messi, who secured the 2022 World Cup Golden Ball, became the first player ever to win two of the prestigious trophies given out every four years. Messi racked up 38 goals and 21 assists throughout the 2022-23 season, in which he led PSG and Inter Miami to trophies.

Female Ballon d’Or Winner: Aitana Bonmati

The Spanish women’s national team and FC Barcelona midfielder, Aitana Bonmati, was crowned the Female Ballon d’Or winner for the first time in her budding career. Known for her incredible creative flair and remarkable leadership on the field, Bonmati was recognized for her exceptional contributions to the 2022 World Cup-winning Spanish women’s team and FC Barcelona. She played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s success, which included a Spanish league and an impressive UEFA Women’s Champions League title.

Bonmati scored 16 goals and netted 19 assists for club and country during the 2022-23 season while winning two of the most coveted trophies in all of soccer.

Kopa Trophy / Young Player of the Year: Jude Bellingham

The Kopa Trophy is given out to the best under-21 player of the season. British and Real Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham has taken the football world by storm and was named the Young Player of the Year. Bellingham has enjoyed a stunning start to his young career at Real Madrid, scoring 13 goals in his first 13 games since joining the club this past summer. The former Borussia Dortmund and current Real Madrid midfielder’s exceptional performances throughout the start of the 2023-24 campaign and World Cup contributions earned him a well-deserved spot among the world’s best players.

Other Notable Awards

The ceremony also featured the presentation of the important season awards.

The Lev Yashin Award for the best male goalkeeper was presented to Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Argentina, who was instrumental in bringing home Argentina’s third World Cup.

The Club of the Year Award winner was Manchester City, who secured a historic treble of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the FA Cup.

Gerd Müller Trophy Striker of the Year in 2023 was Manchester City and Norwegian star Erling Haaland, who set a Premier League record for most goals in a season. Haaland was a finalist for the Ballon d’Or, finishing second.

The Socrates Award for humanitarian work was awarded to Vinicius Jr., who was recognized for starting a foundation that builds schools in impoverished areas and investing in education in his home country of Brazil, and for his outspoken work amidst repeated racial abuse as a player in Spain and around Europe.

While there was no winner awarded in 2023, the inaugural Coach of the Year Award will be presented in 2024 and beyond.

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