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Lionel Messi with his eight Ballon d’Or rings is one of the greatest sports photos in history

Lionel Messi was voted as the best player in the world on Monday winning his eighth Ballon d’Or award. A new thing fans got to see is a Messi rings photo with the Inter Miami star having specially made rings for each of his Ballon d’Or wins.

The 36-year-old Argentine and adidas teamed up to make the iconic photo happen as it’s a nod to the legendary basketball star Bill Russell who passed away last year.

Russell won eight consecutive championships from 1959 to 1966 and took a historic photo wearing all the championship rings.

That image has been recreated with the goat of soccer.

Lionel Messi rings photo

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Here's a closer look at each of the eight rings.

Lionel Messi's rings

It’s incredibly likely that Monday’s Ballon d’Or will be the final time Messi wins the award as the new era of players and young stars are ushered in. Messi winning the 2023 edition marks the first time in history a player active in Major League Soccer has received the honor.

He and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the sport’s spotlight winning 13 of the last 15 Ballon d’Ors. Ronaldo is the closest player to Messi’s untouchable eight with five of his own.

Perhaps the only photo that could be more iconic than the Messi rings photo is if one day Messi and Ronaldo posed for a photo will all their Ballon d’Or trophies. What a moment that would be.

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