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Inter Miami celebrates Lionel Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or prize during the exhibition match

<p>A pregame ceremony came to an end as fireworks lit up the sky, and Lionel Messi carried the Ballon D’Or over his head. And with that, Inter Miami will once again be able to honor the best player in the history of the game in 2023.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-277982″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition-750×422.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com inter miami celebrates lionel messis eighth ballon dor prize during the exhibition” width=”1285″ height=”723″ title=”Inter Miami celebrates Lionel Messi's eighth Ballon d'Or prize during the exhibition match 6″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition-750×422.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition-390×220.jpg 390w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition-150×84.jpg 150w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-inter-miami-celebrates-lionel-messis-eighth-ballon-dor-prize-during-the-exhibition.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1285px) 100vw, 1285px” /></p>
<p>In a friendly match versus New York City FC on Friday night, Messi represented his Major League Soccer team. The game was organized to celebrate his seventh Ballon D’Or victory, which is given to the best player in the league each year, at a black-tie event in Paris last month. That accolade has never been won by another player more than five times.</p>
<p>Messi crossed the field to middle on a gold carpet, holding the trophy in his left hand. MLS Commissioner Don Garber was among those waiting for Messi to arrive for a little pregame ceremony. As the stadium erupted, he gave Garber, Inter Miami owners Jorge and Jose Mas, a hug before raising the trophy.</p>
<p>Messi said, “I think it’s beautiful to share with you.” “Even though I’ve only been here for a short while, it feels like I’ve been here forever.”</p>
<p>This indicates how significant the event was: Garber even took out his smartphone to capture the scene.</p>
<p>Garber said, “You Inter Miami supporters have the best player who’s ever played the game.”</p>
<p>“Thank you Leo for your belief in Major League Soccer and for making your club and your league a league of choice. You are the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and the guy who lifted the Leagues Cup as captain for your team.”</p>
<p>The match was almost meaningless: NYCFC won 2-1, and Messi had a chance to level the score in stoppage time with a 25-yard free kick, but it went high, and the referee signaled the end of play a short while later.</p>
<p>It was the ideal way to cap off Messi’s first four months of formal club membership: Year 1 began with an on-field celebration and concluded with a celebration that hinted to Year 2.</p>
<p>Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said, “He’s the main star of this match and we want to join him in celebrating his eighth Ballon D’Or.”</p>
<p>It’s a chance for us to compete as well. Even if it’s only a friendly, it’s still a chance for the public to witness Leo and his teammates play and bid the year farewell.</p>
<p>At least on home ground, there was an added opportunity for a dieu. More than three weeks ago, Inter Miami finalized their home schedule. Messi was not in action on that particular night since he had just returned from two World Cup qualifiers with Argentina.</p>
<p>Earlier this month, Inter Miami was scheduled to play two games in China; however, due to what the club described as “unforeseen circumstances,” that trip was canceled.</p>
<p>After that plan fell through, Inter Miami decided to try something else and convinced NYCFC to play an exhibition match between sides who weren’t in the running for the MLS playoffs. Messi arrived to the team facilities the morning after winning the Ballon d’Or in Paris and spent the most of the previous two weeks exercising with the squad.</p>
<p>“I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Miami, not just those present at the stadium but also the entire city, for the wonderful treatment my family and I have received over the past few months,” Messi said. “You’ve shown me so much love and given me a sense of belonging.”</p>
<p>Messi is expected to play at least twice more in 2023. Argentina has World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay (in Buenos Aires) on November 16 and Brazil (in Rio de Janeiro) on November 21. Messi has not played a game since Inter Miami’s MLS finals on October 21.</p>
<p>With the possibility of an MLS regular season commencing in late February, the club will probably start practicing for 2024 in January. Inter Miami, which won the Leagues Cup, its first-ever prize, soon after signing Messi this summer, will have a busy year.</p>
<p>In addition to the MLS schedule in 2024, the team will participate in that competition in addition to the U.S. Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup.</p>
<p>“Like I mentioned earlier, I was confident we would enjoy ourselves and have a great time,” Messi remarked. And as of right now, I’m positive. It will be much better then following year. We’re going to keep having fun. We’re going to keep winning championships.</p>
<p>This week, Martino was questioned about what motivates Messi. The optimum response, according to him, would be Messi’s practice-level competitiveness.</p>
<p>Martino said, “You wouldn’t even have to ask the question if you saw those.” “You would understand what I mean immediately.”</p>
<p>There are discussions in several sports over who the greatest of all time (GOAT) is. LeBron James or Michael Jordan play basketball. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are golf’s icons.</p>
<p>In men’s tennis, there is Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer. Certain sports are easier than others. Despite any prejudice towards the past, it’s difficult to argue against gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Michael Phelps, or swimmer Katie Ledecky.</p>
<p>There could be a discussion over soccer still. However, eight Ballon d’Or awards definitely tip the scales in Messi’s favor.</p>
<p>“I think it’s over,” said Benjamin Cremaschi, an 18-year-old striker for Inter Miami. Messi, who was only 2 months old when he scored his first goal for Barcelona in 2005, was a baby-faced, shaggy-haired youngster back then, rather than the bearded, close-cropped appearance he has today.</p>
<p>“He’s spent the past eighteen years proving that. He is, in my opinion, the greatest player in history and the finest player in the world. Furthermore, I’m not sure how many others disagree. Though it’s clearly a little prejudiced, no one has yet impressed me more, in my opinion.</p>
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