Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi brought his latest Ballon d’Or award back to the team faculty and presented it to the youth academy players on Thursday.
Miami’s academy posted a video showing clips of Messi interacting with youngsters while posing for group photos with the team and the trophy.
The 36-year-old recently won his eighth Ballon d’Or award after edging out the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi then took the time to exchange handshakes and hugs with a group of players before taking a group photo and then repeating the process with a younger team.
Lionel Messi presented the Ballon d’Or to Inter Miami’s youth teams
Messi recently won his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe
He was then escorted onto the field where he took photos with both groups of players and their coaches.
Miami president and co-owner David Beckham presented Messi with the Ballon d’Or after he beat the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Kevin de Bruyne to win his eighth crown.
The Argentina captain’s claim to the Ballon d’Or came thanks to his heroics at the World Cup last December, when he scored seven goals to give his country a historic victory. Shortly afterwards, he left Paris Saint-Germain in a record deal and moved to Miami.
Despite missing the MLS playoffs, Messi’s impact was felt as a bottom team even before he arrived in Miami. Within two months he led the team to their first club cup after winning their first League Cup in August.
In September, Miami participated in the US Open Cup final, but lost to Houston Dynamo.
In the MLS regular season, Messi only played six games due to injuries and international appearances. In these games he scored one goal and two assists.
Messi and his Miami teammates had recently prepared for a short trip to China that would have included two friendly matches, but the tour was recently canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Tour operator NSN said the decision to cancel was made out of respect for Chinese officials following the death last week of the country’s former second-ranking leader Li Keqiang. He was China’s top economic official for a decade.