Lionel Messi won the men's Ballon d'Or title for a record eighth time ©Getty Images

Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmatí won football’s 2023 Ballon d’Or titles.

The annual award ceremony, organised by the magazine France Football, recognises the best men’s and women’s international footballers.

Messi, who currently plays his club football for Inter Miami in the United States, won the prestigious award for a record eighth time.

The accolade came after 12 months in which Messi won the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, who defeated France on penalties in Qatar in December 2022.

The shoot-out capped a memorable World Cup final which finished 3-3 after extra-time, and in which Messi scored a brace.

Messi’s previous Ballon d’Or crown came in 2021.

Norwegian player Erling Haaland, who plays for English team Manchester City finished second, while French forward Kylian Mbappé, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final defeat to Argentina, finished third. 

The women’s title was won by Bonmatí, a member of the Spain squad that won the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia in August.

Aitana Bonmati, part of Spain's FIFA Women's World Cup winning squad, won the women's Ballon d'Or title for the first time ©Getty Images
Aitana Bonmati, part of Spain's FIFA Women's World Cup winning squad, won the women's Ballon d'Or title for the first time ©Getty Images

It was Spain’s first ever Women’s World Cup triumph as they beat England 1-0, although the win has been overshadowed by the fallout over the behaviour of former Royal Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales during the trophy presentation.

Rubiales today received a three-year ban from all football-related activities by FIFA, world football’s governing body.

Second place in the women’s award went to Australian Sam Kerr, who plays for English club Chelsea, while third place went to Spanish teenager Salma Paralluelo, who plays her club and international football alongside Bonmatí.

Six other awards were handed out during the ceremony, which took place at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

The Kopa Trophy for the world’s best player under-21 went to England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, with Haaland winning the Gerd Muller Trophy for best goalscorer.

Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who plays his club football with English side Aston Villa, won the Yashin Trophy for the world’s best keeper while Manchester City were named Men’s Club of the Year, with Barcelona taking the Women’s Club of the Year title.

The Sócrates Award went to Brazilian and Real Madrid footballer Vinicius Junior for his work to lead the fight against racism, particularly in his home country of Brazil.