Messi sends Maradona a birthday wish, says latest Ballon d’Or win is his last

Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d’Or Monday night, Erling Haaland finished second while Kylian Mbappe took third place.

Speaking on the coveted award, Messi hinted on his retirement from professional football.

In his words, “I don’t know for how much longer I’ll play but I plan to enjoy it. I can’t put a number on it as things can change very quickly from day to day in football. But I know that day is getting closer and closer.”

He continued: “Being world champion was fantastic. But the truth is I’ve never really got used to receiving awards and being on the stage like this.

“Slowly I have got used to it a bit more since winning it for the first time in 2009. I think today is the last time I will win it, so it feels calmer and I will enjoy it in a different way.

“I’m proud of the career I’ve had. I’ve enjoyed football all my life and soon I’ll enjoy it from the other side.”

Messi wishes Maradona a happy birthday

Messi wishes happy birthday to Maradona, who would have been 63 today.

“My wife has been with me through thick and thin, at difficult times in my career.

“I must mention Diego Maradona. This is for you, too. 

“All the awards I’ve won here have been special, and it’s always special to be recognised.

“The most important thing are team prizes.”

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