Lionel Messi makes heartwarming gesture to FC Barcelona

The Argentine left the club in 2021 following a bitter farewell

By Web Desk
February 20, 2024
Lionel Messi holds his eighth Ballon d'Or. — Reuters

Lionel Messi donated his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy to his previous club FC Barcelona Museum despite winning it while playing for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami, reported El Noticias on Tuesday.

Messi is the only player to have won eight Ballon d’Or, former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the second with three less than the Argentine superstar. The 36-year-old won his seven previous awards while playing for the Catalan club.

He left the club in 2021 on a bitter note due to Barca’s financial crisis and joined French side PSG on a free transfer.

Messi led Argentina to their first World Cup glory in 2022 by scoring two goals in the final against his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe’s France 4-3 and was awarded his seventh Ballon d’Or.

Meanwhile, in 2023, he joined the MLS Inter Miami and guided them to the Leagues Cup victory and won his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or.

As per the report, Messi donated his eighth Ballon d’Or to Barcelona so that the trophy can be displayed alongside the other seven he won while playing for the club.

After winning his Ballon d’Or in October 2023, Messi delivered a speech saying that the feeling remains special despite winning it for the eighth time.

“I’m delighted to be here once more, to be able to enjoy this moment one more time. To be able to win the World Cup and really achieve my dream, I want to share this with all those who were involved," he said.

“They’re all special these awards, the most special is the team prizes. It’s always special to be recognised. I couldn’t have dreamed of having the career that I had, everything I’ve achieved.

“To have the success, the fortune I’ve had. The best team in the world, the best team in history, makes it so much easier to win so many titles, to win these individual prizes. To win the Copa America and then to get the World Cup, after so many difficult moments in the national team."