Super Ballon d’Or – the only trophy missing in Messi’s cabinet

Super Ballon d’Or – the only trophy missing in Messi’s cabinet
Credit: Icon Sport

Lionel Messi has won everything there is to be won by a football player but for the Super Ballon d'Or, which has eluded him to date.

The mercurial playmaker is in the running for the Ballon d’Or once again after he was nominated for the 2023 edition.

The Argentina captain, considered by many to be the ‘GOAT', has accomplished football after leading the South American nation to World Cup glory in Qatar last December, his country’s first triumph since the Diego Maradona-inspired 1986 title.

Credit: Icon Sport

Lionel Messi has seven Ballon d’Or to his name – no other player has more. He is again a strong favourite to take the trophy this year but not without a challenge from Manchester City's treble-winning striker Erling Haaland.  

The 36-year-old boasts a well-decorated trophy and awards cabinet, inclusive of seven ballon d'Or's but only one thing remains missing – a Super Ballon d'Or to crown it all.

Lionel Messi’s trophy cabinet

Lionel Messi started winning titles early in his career. In just his first season with FC Barcelona senior team in the 2004-05 season, the then 17-year-old won the La Liga and followed it up with the Supercopa de Espana. 

He continued to grow at the club and helped Barcelona achieve their first-ever treble (La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and Champions League) in 2009, capping it off with a goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United. 

Lionel Messi won his second treble at Barcelona under Luis Enrique in 2014-15, once again leading the side from the front with a whopping 58 goals in 57 matches across all competitions. 

After leaving the Spanish giants, Lionel Messi won the league twice during his time at PSG as well as the Trophee des Champions. Recently, he claimed the Leagues Cup with US side Inter Miami to become the most decorated player ever with 44 trophies won.

With Argentina, Lionel Messi won the Copa America title in 2021 before winning the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions and the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Individually, Messi has claimed a number of honours since 2008 including the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (2), Ballon d’Or (7), European Golden Boot (6), and many more.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi is aiming for an eighth Ballon d’Or crown in October, but what is it compared to the Super Ballon d’Or?

What is the Super Ballon d’Or?

The Super Ballon d'Or is a prize that was awarded on 24 December 1989, by the French magazine France Football for the best football player of the previous three decades. It is even more exclusive than the prestigious Ballon d'Or.

The award has only been given once and it was Spanish-Argentine forward and Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stéfano who was the recipient. 

The Super Ballon d’Or award was contested between previous multiple-time Ballon d'Or winners.

With regards to the selection of the winner, it was voted for by viewers and readers, a panel of France Football judges, and former Ballon d'Or winners. 

The viewers and readers voted Michel Platini as the best, but the France Football jury and former Ballon d'Or winners chose Alfredo Di Stéfano and he was duly honoured.

Can Lionel Messi claim the Super Ballon d'Or?

For many years, Di Stefano’s Super Ballon d'Or trophy was on display at the Real Madrid Museum at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, but in 2021, his children decided to auction off his memorabilia.

The prestigious trophy was among the items sold and an anonymous buyer bought it for £187,500, and its current location is unknown.

Messi is just one of just four players to have won the ballon d'Or award in the last 15 years, along with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, 2018 winner Luka Modric and last year’s winner Karim Benzema.

Since the Super Ballon d’Or was last awarded in 1989, Messi has the most awards of any player, and if it is to be awarded today, the Argentine would be an easy winner of the award.

His achievements from last year saw his status among the all-time greats rise even further after winning the ultimate prize in country colours as well.

If Lionel Messi ever had a chance to win the Super Ballon d'Or award before what is left of his career comes to an end, surely there is no better time than now.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

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