Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes Lionel Messi deserved his Ballon d’Or win after the Inter Miami star claimed a record-extending eighth award.
Messi was crowned winner of football’s greatest individual honour during a ceremony in Paris on Monday evening, having finished ahead of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe in the vote.
The 36-year-old’s recognition came after leading Argentina to World Cup success in Qatar last winter and Arteta believes Messi’s performances on that stage make him a worthy winner.
“When you talk about Messi it can never be wrong,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash at West Ham.
“The way he won the World Cup at his age. It was the pinnacle of his career. No-one was expecting it. It’s just incredible, the consistency he has had through his career, the level that he has put world football into.”
Arsenal had two players in the top 30 list for the award, with Martin Odegaard (28th) and Bukayo Saka (24th) acknowledged for their performances last season.
“It is always good to look at yourself next to those names and in those lists. It is a compliment for them and what they have done.
“Now the challenge is to be up higher in the list next season because that will mean you have done it again.”
Read Also – The 2023 Ballon d’Or vote – Final Rankings