Lionel Messi's eighth Ballon d'Or is "much more special" than the previous seven because it follows Argentina's World Cup crown less than a year ago in Qatar, the former savored Paris SG player now at Inter Miami after the ceremony Monday evening in Paris.
Is this eighth Ballon d'Or special compared to the others?Lionel Messi: Obviously, yes, the one before too because it came after what we had achieved with the Argentinian selection in the Copa America, but this one is much more special because it comes after winning the World Cup, the most desired title for anyone. It's a dream come true for me, for my teammates, for an entire country. To be world champion again, with what that means and especially with what it means for the Argentines, it's special from that point of view.
Do you think you will win this Ballon d'Or again, and play until the 2026 World Cup? I am not thinking about the long term future, I will enjoy day by day what happens, but now we we have a Copa America in the United States (in 2024, Editor's note), where I am now playing, and we are reigning champions (with Argentina), so I can't wait to get to this Copa America, to go there little by little and see how I feel day after day.
Is it special to return to Paris, where you played two seasons? And would you like to celebrate this Ballon d'Or on the lawn of the Parc des Princes? It's always special to come here, to come to this award. I lived here for two years, I left behind good friends and good memories. I am happy with this new reward, this new recognition. (...) I'm not sure that PSG supporters would like me to present the Ballon d'Or at the Parc (smile).