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You know what that means — Lionel Messi’s new look hints at who’s winning the Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi reappeared for Inter Miami in training on Monday, Sept. 19 after playing (and scoring an outrageous free kick against Ecuador) for Argentina in the international break and one small new detail about the No. 10 has fans thinking we might already know who’s winning the upcoming 2023 Ballon d’Or.

Messi returns to Inter Miami training with a clean-shaven look

Messi was seen at his first practice back for The Herons since the international break ahead of their upcoming match against Toronto FC and a particular detail about the Argentine’s facial hair has fans going crazy.

After a long time with the now classic beard, Messi has gone back the wearing a clean facial hair look.

Clean-shaven Messi ahead of Inter Miami’s upcoming crucial matches in hopes of qualifying for the MLS playoffs? Teams should be scared.

This was the first time we’ve seen Messi rock the beardless look since playing for PSG in 2021 and during the Ballon d’Or award unvveilling season — a coincidence many fans aren’t looking over.

Has Messi shaved his beard for the Ballon d’Or photoshoot?

The reasons to think this is true are there.

In 2021, after completing a fantastic season with Barcelona winning the Copa del Rey and Argentina winning the 2021 Copa America, Messi arrived in Paris as one of the clear candidates for the French award.

A few weeks prior to the unveiling of Messi as the winner that year, the Argentine apparently missed training with the club for ‘medical reasons’ and showed to next day’s training with a clean-shaven look —  a change in appearance apparently made ahead of the yearly Ballon d’Or winner photoshoot.

That same year and two days prior to the award ceremony in late November, Messi was seen with yet another clean-shaven look.

This year, being one of the clear candidates for the 2023 Ballon d’Or as Ligue 1 winner and World Cup champion with Argentina, Messi was not available to play in Inter Miami’s away loss against Atlanta United on Sunday despite returning a few days prior and appeared in Monday’s training with the club with the beardless look.

A clear sign of the winner on Oct. 30th or just another crazed fan theory? 

Facial hair coincidences and theories aside, Messi and Inter Miami will prepare to go back to winning-ways in MLS as they host Toronto FC at the DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday, Sep. 20, with the No. 10 expected to make a return to the starting eleven.

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