Messi beat out Manchester City's Erling Haaland and former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe to take home top individual honors at the 2023 edition of The Best FIFA Football Awards, held in London. The Argentine, who previously won for his performances in 2019 and 2022, is currently in preseason with the Herons in South Florida and didn't attend the ceremony.
The award comes months after Messi added a record eighth Ballon d'Or to his collection amid the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner's magical debut 2023 season with Miami – highlighted by a fairytale run to the Leagues Cup title.
Messi – along with fellow FC Barcelona legends Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and the newly-signed Luis Suárez – is preparing for his first full season in Major League Soccer with the Herons. Short-term, Gerardo Martino's side will embark on a five-country, three-continent preseason tour that kicks off with a Jan. 19 friendly against the El Salvador national team.