November 17, 2023
In celebration of Lionel Messi's historic eighth Ballon d'Or win, Adidas has presented him with eight 14-karat gold championship rings, each holding significant meaning. Messi, at 36 years old, secured another Ballon d'Or triumph, surpassing contenders Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
Adidas, Messi's sponsor, went above and beyond to acknowledge his accomplishments, particularly his role in Argentina's groundbreaking World Cup victory. The German brand gifted Messi eight intricately designed gold championship rings, featuring unique details commemorating specific achievements or milestones for each year. Notably, one of the rings bears the number "91," symbolizing Messi's record-breaking 91 goals in the calendar year 2012.
Drawing inspiration from 11-time NBA championship winner Russell's iconic pose from 1996, Messi replicated the pose as part of the commemoration.
These rings are not only symbolic but also philanthropic. Later this year, they will be auctioned, with all proceeds directed towards charities chosen by Messi and Adidas, adding a meaningful aspect to the celebration.
2009: "El Beso" - This ring commemorates Messi's iconic celebration in the Champions League final against Manchester United, where he kissed the Barcelona badge.
2010: "Apunta Al Cielo" - A poignant tribute to Messi's grandmother, Celia, as he pointed to the sky in remembrance and gratitude during a celebration.
2011: "GOAT" - Acknowledging Messi's pivotal role in Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, a team often hailed as the best in history, epitomizing the ethos of the greatest of all time.
2012: "91" - Symbolizing Messi's extraordinary 2012 season, where he scored an unparalleled 91 goals in a calendar year, showcasing his unparalleled scoring prowess.
2015: "Champions League Triumph" - Honoring Messi's crucial contribution to Barcelona's victory in the 2015 Champions League, securing their fourth title in the competition.
2019: "Golden Shoe Excellence" - Recognizing Messi's Golden Shoe win in 2019, solidifying his status as the player with the most Golden Shoe awards in history.
2021: "South American Champion" - Celebrating Messi's role as the top scorer in Argentina's Copa America victory, highlighting his impact on the international stage.
2023: "Argentina World Champion" - The final ring, adorned with three stars, symbolizes Argentina's triumph in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, marking Messi's crowning achievement.
Adidas shared a video of Messi alongside these exquisite gifts on social media, emphasizing his greatness with the caption: "The greatest, as we've told you again and again."
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