Lionel Messi took home the eighth Ballon d’Or trophy on Monday night at an award ceremony held in Paris. The award is amongst the most prestigious honours in the world of football. After a phenomenal world cup campaign, which saw Argentina lift the trophy in Qatar after a wait of 36 years, hopes were high for the former Barcelona forward to lift the golden ball.
Naturally, the award has once again garnered attention and people are curious about its history. Formerly the 'European Footballer of the Year' and briefly the 'FIFA World Player of the Year,' fans have time and again battled over whether their favourite player deserves the prestigious honour.
Here is everything you need to know about the trophy lifted by Argentinian Captain Lionel Messi:
How much does the Ballon d’Or actually cost?
While the exact worth of the Ballon d’Or award remains uncertain, the approximate worth stands anywhere around 3000 Euros. The golden ball is indeed covered with 18-carat gold, there are countable other materials mixed with the yellow metal, like brass, pyrite, and wax-like material. Crafted by French jeweler Mellerio dits Meller, the trophy is a remarkable work of art, standing at 31 centimeters and weighing about 7 kilograms.
In the year 2007, France Football enacted an alteration to the Ballon d'Or's eligibility criteria. They broadened the scope, welcoming players from all corners of the globe, irrespective of their nationality or professional club affiliation. This transformation essentially transformed the Ballon d'Or into a de facto global Player of the Year award. However, it remained a distinct and separate distinction from the FIFA World Player of the Year award, signifying the evolving dynamics of football's most prestigious individual accolades.
What is the history of Ballon d’Or?
The Ballon d'Or started in the year 1956, and was initially established by the French magazine, 'France Football.' The name “Ballon d'Or” literally translates to 'Golden Ball' in English. The trophy was created to recognize and reward the top European football players. In the early years, only European players were eligible for the honor, but in 1995, eligibility was extended to players from all over the world who played for European clubs.
The top of the trophy consists of a golden football perched atop a slender and ornate stand. This football is intricately detailed. It bears the name 'Ballon d'Or' and serves as a symbol of excellence in football.
What Do Winners Of Ballon d’Or get?
The Ballon d'Or doesn't come with a direct cash reward, but the players who win it can still enjoy substantial financial benefits. Winning the Ballon d'Or often triggers bonus clauses in their contracts, and the prestige of the award can also enhance the market value of players for potential sponsors, leading to more endorsement opportunities and increased earnings.
This year, Messi clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy. Lionel Messi’s net worth stands anywhere around a whopping $600 million. According to Forbes' Highest-Paid Athletes report, he holds the second position in the list, narrowly trailing behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi has numerous ongoing brand endorsements, with Adidas being the most financially rewarding. Additionally, he collaborates with various other brands, including Budweiser, Mastercard, Pepsi, and Saudi Arabia Tourism among others.
However, one of the standout partnerships of the year has undoubtedly been the collaboration between Lionel Messi and Apple. This year, they jointly unveiled a remarkable documentary series titled "Messi Meets America," showcasing Lionel Messi's journey as he steps onto the field for the Leagues Cup and Major League Soccer. The series made its global premiere on Apple TV+ on October 11, and it has captured the attention of audiences worldwide.