Adding to his silverware the one major trophy that eluded him in his storied career was the decisive factor in an otherwise quite mundane season — for his standards — at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 36-year-old Messi won ahead of Manchester City forward Erling Haaland and his former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe.
Aitana Bonmati won the women's award for guiding Spain to victory at the Women's World Cup in August. She also helped Barcelona win the Women's Champions League and Spanish league.
A year after missing out on the shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d'Or, and despite leaving top-level European soccer behind, Messi has recovered his crown.
He won the sport's biggest individual prize due to his tremendous World Cup. In Qatar, Messi was involved in 10 goals for Argentina, scoring seven and assisting three. He scored twice in the final against France.
His final season with PSG was less shiny. Although PSG won a record-extending 11th French league, it again exited the Champions League in the round of 16.
Since moving to Inter Miami in the United States, Messi has already picked up his first silverware there by inspiring the team to victory in the U.S. Leagues Cup.
Messi succeeded Karim Benzema.
Mbappe hoped another Frenchman could win the Ballon d'Or after he scored a hat trick in the World Cup final, though France lost in a penalty shootout.
Haaland led City to a treble of trophies last season — Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup — while scoring 52 goals.
Bonmati had already been awarded UEFA best women's player and the Golden Ball for the top Women's World Cup player. She scored three times and assisted twice at the tournament.
Bonmati followed in the footsteps of her teammate Alexia Putellas, who took the past two awards.
Bonmati won ahead of Sam Kerr and Salma Paralluelo.
"We are a country that lives football, intensely," Bonmati said. "We have a unique talent in Spain."
For the first time last year, the trophy awarded by France Football magazine was based on achievements from the past season. It was previously awarded based on performances through a calendar year. Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956.
The women's trophy was created in 2018, and both were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Ballon d'Or 2023 latest news
Awards list in full
Bonmati wins Women's Award
Bellingham wins Kopa Trophy
Messi wins eighth Men's Award after World Cup triumph
22:41 , Jonathan Gorrie
Thank you for joining Standard Sport's LIVE coverage of the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony.
Find our report and reaction below!
Lionel Messi sends classy message to Erling Haaland after Ballon d'Or win
22:40 , Jonathan Gorrie
Lionel Messi sent a classy message to Erling Haaland after beating the Manchester City striker to the Ballon d’Or on Monday evening.
The Argentina international won the eighth such award of one of the most remarkable careers ever seen in sport after leading his country to their first World Cup triumph in 36 years last December.
Messi wins eighth Ballon d'Or after World Cup victory
22:13 , Jonathan Gorrie
Lionel Messi has won his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or after leading Argentina to the 2022 World Cup.
Inter Miami's Messi, who last won the award in 2021, played a pivotal role in guiding Argentina to their first World Cup title in 36 years when they beat defending champions France in the final last year.
ICYMI: Jude Bellingham wins Kopa Trophy
22:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
England midfielder Jude Bellingham won the prestigious Kopa Trophy during the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday evening.
The 20-year-old established himself as one of Europe’s leading midfielders during a three-year spell at Borussia Dortmund before a move to Real Madrid this summer.
ICYMI: Aitana Bonmati wins Ballon d'Or Féminin 2023
21:56 , Jonathan Gorrie
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati has won the women's Ballon d'Or, France Football has announced.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a fine year for club and country - winning a league and Champions League double before playing a pivotal role in Spain's World Cup success, where she also won the Golden Ball.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Award winners
21:44 , Jonathan Gorrie
Kopa Trophy: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
Socrates Award: Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Women's Team Of The Year: FC Barcelona
Yachine Trophy: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Gerd Müller Trophy: Erling Haaland (Man City)
Men's Team Of The Year: Manchester City
Women's Ballon d'Or Feminin winner: Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)
Men's Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi
Ballon d'Or 2023: LIONEL MESSI WINS!
21:31 , Jonathan Gorrie
BREAKING: Lionel Messi makes it EIGHT awards.
Ballon d'Or 2023: David Beckham up to award the winner!
21:27 , Jonathan Gorrie
Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe remaining in the race...
Ballon d'Or 2023: Bonmati speaks after winning Women's Award
21:19 , Jonathan Gorrie
"I'm very proud to win this Ballon d'or tonight."It's an individual prize but football is a team sport, so I'd like to extend this prize to my teammates and staff at Barcelona, and my international teammates as well. I wouldn't be here without them."
Ballon d'Or Féminin 2023: Aitana Bonmati wins!
21:07 , Jonathan Gorrie
World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati wins Ballon d'Or Féminin 2023!
Ballon d'Or Féminin 2023: Novak Djokovic to present
21:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
One member of sporting royalty is about to name the Ballon d'Or Féminin.
Ballon d'Or 2023: More men's rankings revealed
20:59 , Jonathan Gorrie
7 - Julian Alvarez
6- Vinicius Junior
5 - Rodri
Ballon d'Or 2023: Man City win Best Men's Team
20:54 , Jonathan Gorrie
To the surprise of nobody!
The treble winners are crowned the best men's team.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Erling Haaland wins Gerd Muller award!
20:41 , Jonathan Gorrie
The best striker of the 2022/23 season is.....
Erling Haaland (obviously)..
He wins the Gerd Muller trophy - beating Harry Kane, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappe.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Emi Martinez wins Lev Yashin award!
20:30 , Jonathan Gorrie
A World Cup winner, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez has won the Lev Yashin award.
Some boos for him in Paris, however...
Balllon d'Or 2023: The countdown continues to the men's award
20:26 , Jonathan Gorrie
More rankings have now been confirmed.
10 - Luka Modric
9 - Bernardo Silva
8 - Victor Osmihen
Ballon d'Or 2023: Barcelona Femeni win best women's team
20:19 , Jonathan Gorrie
Oh, not quite yet.
Indeed, the Barcelona Femeni have won the 'Women's Team of the Year' award.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Ballon d'Or Féminin up next
20:14 , Jonathan Gorrie
We are edging closer to finding out who has won the women's Ballon d'Or.
Ballon d'Or 2023: A montage of the greats we've lost
20:13 , Jonathan Gorrie
Sir Bobby Charlton, Pele and Luis Suarez feature in a poignant montage of footballing royalty the game has sadly lost this year.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Socrates prize up next!
20:06 , Jonathan Gorrie
Vinicius Junior wins the Socrates award, recognising work done off the pitch regarding social issues.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Jude Bellingham speaks after winning Kopa Trophy
20:03 , Jonathan Gorrie
"I wanted to thank everyone who got me to this point from Birmingham to Dortmund to Real Madrid and the national team.
"I'd also like to thank my family; mum and dad here tonight and my brother back home. Thanks for all of the support, thanks a lot. More to come."
Ballon d'Or 2023: Jude Bellingham wins Kopa Trophy!
19:58 , Jonathan Gorrie
Never in doubt!
Jude Bellingham is handed one of the most prestigious awards around.
Ballon d'Or 2023: First prize up!
19:57 , Jonathan Gorrie
Eden Hazard will present the 2023 Kopa Trophy winner, an award for the best player in the world under the age of 21.
Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)Pedri (Barcelona)Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)Antonio Silva (Benfica)Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)Gavi (Barcelona)Elye Wahi (Lens)
Ballon d'OR 2023: Ceremony begins!
19:52 , Jonathan Gorrie
Here we go!
Who has won the most Ballon d'Ors?
19:36 , Jonathan Gorrie
Lionel Messi currently stands at 7 wins, two ahead of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
That record should be extended tonight...
Ballon d'Or 2023: Jude Bellingham responds to Gary Lineker
19:19 , Jonathan Gorrie
Gary Lineker has tipped Real Madrid sensation Jude Bellingham to lift this award in 2028, such has been his stunning start to life at one of Europe's biggest clubs.
“It’s very nice of him, but for me it’s all about the team awards," said Bellingham.
"But this is definitely one you look at when you’re a kid.”
Ballon d'Or 2023: Rodri arrives!
19:05 , Jonathan Gorrie
Widely regarded as the best player in his position in world football, Manchester City midfielder Rodri should feature highly in the top ten.
“It is fantastic (to be here)," he said.
"It was an unbelievable season for us last year. The team deserves everything. Seeing my teammates here is so special because we achieved something special last year.”
Ballon d'OR 2023: Latest top ten odds
18:56 , Jonathan Gorrie
2023 Ballon d'Or winner odds
Lionel Messi - 1/25
Erling Haaland - 9/1
Rodri, Kylian Mbappe - 40/1
Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Vinicius Junior - 80/1
Julian Alvarez, Victor Osimhen, Luka Modric - 100/1
Ballon d'OR 2023: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia speaks
18:55 , Jonathan Gorrie
Everyone's favourite Georgian winger reflects on a whirlwind journey to get here with Napoli.
"I couldn’t imagine that one day I would come here, I am so happy. It’s a pleasure to be with these players, the greatest footballers are here and I’m so happy to be part of them."
Ballon d''Or 2023: Eden Hazard arrives!
18:42 , Jonathan Gorrie
The former Chelsea star recently hung up his boots.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 30, 2023
Ballon d'Or 2023: Mohamed Salah finishes eleventh
18:20 , Jonathan Gorrie
Even despite a poor season for Liverpool last time out, Mohamed Salah continues to star.
Perhaps the best forward in the Premier League for the last five years, Salah finishes 11th in this year's rankings.
Ballon d'OR 2023: Robert Lewandowski comes in at 12th
18:16 , Jonathan Gorrie
Finishing above Yassine Bouno is Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski.
Desperately unlucky not to have won the award after Bayern Munich's treble in 2020, the Poland international continues to be one of Europe's most dangerous strikers.
Ballon d'OR 2023: Red carpet underway!
18:08 , Jonathan Gorrie
The stars are starting to line up on the red carpet in Paris.
Ballon d'Or 2023: Latest odds
18:05 , Jonathan Gorrie
2023 Ballon d'Or winner odds
Lionel Messi - 1/25
Erling Haaland - 9/1
Odds via BitcoinCasinos.
17:59 , Matt Verri
It's between Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland for the Ballon d'Or tonight.
Messi the strong favourite for an eighth success, having led Argentina to the World Cup.
Haaland was so impressive in his first season in England, with 52 goals for Man City... will it be enough?
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 30, 2023
17:49 , Matt Verri
Saying that, Yassine Bounou will fancy his chances too.
The Morocco goalkeeper has finished above Martinez in the Ballon d'Or rankings, with it confirmed that he is 13th after starring at the World Cup.
He's beaten Ilkay Gundogan too, with his Treble-winning campaign at Man City only good enough for 14th.
Martinez next up
17:46 , Matt Verri
Emi Martinez 15th in the 2023 Ballon d'Or. Not too bad at all.
He's up for the Yashin Trophy - for the best goalkeeper last season - as well tonight, with that prize given out later tonight.
Every chance he pips to the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Ederson to that.
Last year's winner...
17:39 , Matt Verri
Karim Benzema won the Ballon d'Or 12 months ago, but it's 16th for the Frenchman this time.
Real Madrid were unable to extend their dominance in the Champions League, while Benzema was ruled out of the World Cup due to injury. Painful end to his international career.
He finishes just ahead of Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who is 17th in this year's rankings.
Bonmati to take top award?
17:34 , Matt Verri
All the focus in the last hour or so has been on the men's rankings, but remember the Ballon d'Or Feminin will also be awarded tonight.
Alexia Putellas has won it the last two years, but she is not on the 30-player shortlist this time after having her season wrecked by injury.
Aitana Bonmati, her Spain and Barcelona team-mate, is favourite to take the baton, but we shall see.
English duo next up!
17:23 , Matt Verri
We've had one English player so far in Bukayo Saka - here are the other two.
Harry Kane 19th for his performances for Tottenham and England last season, as reliable as ever in front of goal.
He's just pipped by Jude Bellingham, who finishes 18th. Reminder that the voting does not take into account this season, that will come in next year's award.
Bellingham will not be 18th next year, I can promise you that!
Over to the rankings again...
17:17 , Matt Verri
Two more players confirmed.
It's 21st for Antoine Griezmann, who made the shortlist for the fifth time. Feels like it should be more than that.
And Lautaro Martinez is 20th, after a wonderful campaign for Argentina and Inter Milan. Still plenty more players to come from that World Cup-winning campaign, including Julian Alvarez, Emi Martinez... and Lionel Messi.
Strong Gunners contingent
17:09 , Matt Verri
As we've covered, Arsenal duo Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka have had their Ballon d'Or rankings revealed.
There's still plenty more to come in terms of Arsenal interest though...
🏆 Our Ballon d'Or nominees
Everything you need to know ahead of tonight's ceremony 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 30, 2023
Onana beats Arsenal duo
17:04 , Matt Verri
Andre Onana just edges out Bukayo Saka then, as well as Martin Odegaard.
It's 23rd for the Manchester United goalkeeper for his performances last season, before the summer move to Old Trafford. He was crucial in helping Inter reach the Champions League final.
Bayern Munich defender Kim-min Jae finishes 22nd.
Saka next up
17:01 , Matt Verri
Bukayo Saka's ranking has been revealed - 24th for the Arsenal star.
The England star had 14 Premier League goals and 12 assists last season as the Gunners mounted a serious title bid. He's established himself as one of the very best in the League.
Back to the rankings...
16:55 , Matt Verri
Josko Gvardiol comes in at 25th in the men's rankings.
That's for his season last term, so before the summer move to Manchester City. He's only 21 - plenty more nominations to come in the years ahead.
Same names dominating!
16:52 , Matt Verri
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo... with a bit of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema sprinkled it.
Fair to say the men's Ballon d'Or has been a very closed shop in recent years. There is not currently an active player under the age of 35 with a Ballon d'Or to his name.
The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and surely Jude Bellingham will get their chance, but they're set to be made to wait a bit longer yet!
Wiegman verdict on planning
16:43 , Matt Verri
As a result, the Lionesses players up for awards tonight will not be attending.
"We talk about the planning now, it would be nice for them, everyone is working so hard, and of course we have to do a job. That's what we are here for," she said.
"So you can't attend that. It would be really nice if things like that are organised, so that players have the opportunity to join too."
Musiala next up
16:36 , Matt Verri
Jamal Musiala comes in 26th in the rankings.
The Bayern midfielder is up for the Kopa Trophy later tonight too, an award he finished third in both last year and in 2021.
On we go...
16:32 , Matt Verri
It's 27th for Nicolo Barella.
The midfielder played his part as Inter Milan reached the Champions League final, falling just short against Man City.
Arsenal captain ranking revealed
16:29 , Matt Verri
Martin Odegaard and Randal Kolo Muani both ranked 28th.
Odegaard shone last season as Arsenal mounted a serious Premier League title charge, while Kolo Muani was part of the French squad that won the World Cup.
Here we go!
16:26 , Matt Verri
We have our first name.
Coming in at 30th in the men's Ballon d'Or rankings is Ruben Dias.
One of seven Man City players on the shortlist, he helped Pep Guardiola's side to the Treble last season.
16:18 , Matt Verri
Any minute now we should get the first rankings from the 30-man shortlist.
All the players on that list very keen not to see their names appearing for a while yet...
Mbappe on Ballon d'Or hopes
16:05 , Matt Verri
Speaking earlier this summer, Kylian Mbappe insisted he did enough last season to be a serious contender for winning the Ballon d'Or, as he claimed being at PSG could be hurting his chances.
"It's always difficult to talk about an individual trophy, because you have to put yourself forward," Mbappe said.
"It's something that doesn't necessarily go down well with the general public. Do I deserve the Ballon d'Or? With the new criteria, what counts? Catching the eye, scoring goals and making an impact? I think I fit those criteria."
He added: "I think playing for PSG doesn't help a lot, because they are a team that divide, a club that divide."
Barcelona stars flying in!
15:59 , Matt Verri
Aitana Bonmati and her Barcelona team-mates are on their way to Paris.
The Spanish midfielder is expected to win the Ballon d'Or Feminin tonight, after winning the World Cup over the summer.
All will be revealed during the ceremony this evening...
— FC Barcelona Femení (@FCBfemeni) October 30, 2023
Other awards tonight...
15:49 , Matt Verri
No surprise that Jude Bellingham is favourite to pick up the Kopa Trophy tonight, for Europe's best U21 player.
Jamal Musiala and Pedri also on the ten-man shortlist, with Rasmus Hojlund the only Premier League representation.
For the goalkeeper award, Alisson is a surprise name missing out on being nominated. Aaron Ramsdale and Andre Onana on the shortlist, while Thibaut Courtois looks to defend his crown.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 30, 2023
What happened last year?
15:40 , Matt Verri
Karim Benzema won the Ballon d'Or for the first time last year, rewarded for his superb form with Real Madrid.
Alexia Putellas picked up the top women's award for the second year in a row - reminder that injury means she is not even on the 30-player shortlist this time.
Thibaut Courtois won the goalkeeper prize, while Gavi beat Edouardo Camavinga to the Kopa Trophy.
Not long to go...
15:29 , Matt Verri
Reminder that the main ceremony gets underway at 8pm GMT tonight, but there will be plenty of news before then.
The rankings will start to be announced from 4:15pm, so in about 45 minutes, starting with the player who has finished 30th.
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@ballondor) October 30, 2023
Lionesses will not attend ceremony
15:16 , Matt Verri
Georgia Stanway and her Lionesses team-mates will not attend tonight's Ballon d'Or ceremony, with the midfielder voicing her frustration at the timing of it.
The ceremony in Paris is taking place the day before a full round of international fixtures in the women's game, with England facing Belgium in the Nations League.
As a result, Stanway and her team-mates Mary Earps, Millie Bright, Rachel Daly - who were all nominated for the Ballon d'Or Feminin - have reluctantly decided not to attend.
Asked if the timing was frustrating, Stanway said: "Yeah it is, because it is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"You never know if you are ever going to get selected for such an accolade like that again.
"So it would be really nice to enjoy the experience and be there, and feel like a star amongst the stars.
"But yeah unfortunately - well, not unfortunately because we have got a game tomorrow - but if it was planned a little bit better, then maybe it would be easier for a lot of female footballers to be there."
Ballon d'Or Feminin shortlist in full
15:07 , Matt Verri
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Daphne Van Domselaar, Olga Carmona
Defenders: Millie Bright, Katie McCabe, Amanda Ilestedt, Mapi Leon, Wendie Renard
Midfielders: Georgia Stanway, Jill Roord, Yui Hasegawa, Aitana Bonmati, Patricia Guijarro, Lena Oberdorf
Forwards: Rachel Daly, Sam Kerr, Khadija Shaw, Guro Reiten, Hayley Raso, Asisat Oshoala, Salma Paralluelo, Linda Caicedo, Alba Redondo, Kadidiatou Diani, Alexandra Popp, Ewa Pajor, Debinha, Sophia Smith
Ballon d'Or shortlist in full
14:55 , Matt Verri
Goalkeepers: Andre Onana, Emi Martinez, Yassine Bounou
Defenders: Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias, Kim Min-jae
Midfielders: Jamal Musiala, Jude Bellingham, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Nicolo Barella, Martin Odegaard, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri, Luka Modric
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Mohamed Salah, Bukayo Saka, Randal Kolo Muani, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Vinicius Jr, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Lautaro Martinez, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Victor Osimhen, Harry Kane
Guardiola delivers Ballon d'Or verdict
14:43 , Matt Verri
Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to win the Ballon d'Or, as he joked Lionel Messi deserves his own category when it comes to the award.
"Haaland should win - yes," the City boss said. "We won the treble and he scored 50 million goals.
"Egotistically I would say I want Erling because he helped us to achieve what we achieved.
Messi won the Ballon d'Or in all four of the seasons he played under Guardiola at Barcelona, with three more following since then.
Last year was the first time since 2005 that Messi missed out on being nominated, but Guardiola is certainly not surprised to see his former player back at the top of the sport.
He said: "The Ballon d'Or has to be two sections. One for Messi, and after look for the others.
"The worst season of Messi is the best for the rest."
Bellingham up for Kopa Trophy
14:33 , Matt Verri
There is a 10-man shortlist for the Kopa Trophy, given to the best men’s under-21 player. Jude Bellingham is unsurprisingly nominated, along with Barcelona trio Gavi, Pedri and Alejandro Balde.
Jamal Musiala is also in the running, while Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund is the only Premier League player on the shortlist.
The Yashin Trophy will also be handed out to the best goalkeeper - last year's winner Thibaut Courtois is nominated again. So too are Aaron Ramsdale, Emi Martinez, Andre Onana and Ederson, but Liverpool's Alisson misses out this time.
14:24 , Matt Verri
The Ballon d'Or Feminin will also be awarded tonight, with Aitana Bonmati believed to be leading the race after a stellar season for Barcelona and Spain.
Alexia Putellas has won the award in each of the last two years, but an ACL injury ended her hopes of making it a hat-trick and she is not on the shortlist this time.
Mary Earps, Millie Bright, Rachel Daly and Georgia Stanway are the four English players nominated, after the Lionesses reached the World Cup final in the summer.
14:15 , Matt Verri
Lionel Messi looks set to pick up the main prize yet again. He's already at the top of the pile with seven Ballon d'Or awards to his name - expect that to become eight tonight.
Erling Haaland is his most likely challenger, after a superb first year in England, and he's one of seven Man City players on the 30-man shortlist.
Jude Bellingham is also nominated, along with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Kylian Mbappe and Mohammed Salah.
How to watch the Ballon d'Or ceremony
14:09 , Matt Verri
Live stream: The ceremony will be broadcast live on French newspaper L’Equipe’s YouTube channel and website.
It will also be available to watch on TNT Sports, with coverage starting at 6pm GMT.
Live blog: You can follow the ceremony in full right here with us!
14:03 , Matt Verri
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport's LIVE coverage of the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony!
Football's biggest individual prizes are dished out tonight in a typically glamorous Paris ceremony, with Lionel Messi favourite to pick up the men's award for an eighth time.
We'll also have the women's award handed out, as Aitana Bonmati seemingly leads the race, as well as the Yashin Trophy and Kopa Trophy.
Full coverage of that ceremony to come from 8pm GMT this evening, but we'll have all the build-up throughout the afternoon too. Stay with us!