LIONEL MESSI scooped his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy win last night at a glittering ceremony.
And the win means he is officially the GOAT after moving clear of Pele on the amended all-time list.
Messi was all smiles last night as he pipped Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to win the Ballon d’Or for the third time in five years.
The Inter Miami forward enjoyed a spectacular year as he captained Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar.
The win saw Messi extend his lead over Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five Ballon d’Ors.
But the result also meant Messi finally pulled clear in the amended all-time list as well.
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In 2016, award organisers France Football published a new list of winners before 1995.
Up until that point, only European players were eligible to win the award.
The original victors did not lose their trophy.
But the results astonishingly revealed that Brazil legend Pele should have won an incredible seven times, including six times in seven years.
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Argentina icon Diego Maradona was also entitled to two wins.
Finally, Brazilians Garrincha and Romario, as well as Argentina’s Mario Kempes, also missed out on gongs due to being from South America.
It meant Pele was the amended all-time leading winner until Messi matched him in 2021.
But after picking up Ballon d’Or No8 last night, the Barcelona legend is now the undisputed GOAT in the list.
Fans reacted to the news, with one saying: "The greatest there is, the greatest there was and the greatest there will ever be."
One noted: "I didn't even know Pele won that many!"
Another declared: "Now the debate is over, Messi is the GOAT."
One added: "Ronaldo not even top two of all time."
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