Lionel Messi won a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday. The trophy was presented by David Beckham.
The Argentine great fulfilled his life's ambition by leading his country to the World Cup title in Qatar last year to win the one major trophy that eluded him in his storied career.
Spain's Aitana Bonmati won the women's award after leading her country to victory at the Women's World Cup in August. She was the favourite going into the ceremony.
Since moving to Inter Miami in the United States, Messi has already picked up his first silverware thereby inspiring the team to victory in the US Leagues Cup.
Despite leaving top-level European soccer behind, Messi was still tipped to beat Manchester City forward Erling Haaland to the sport's biggest individual prize. Haaland won the Gerd Muller Award 2023 for the best striker of the past season for club and country. Manchester City was named best men's club of the year.
Mbappe scored a hat trick in the World Cup final though France lost in a penalty shootout.
Haaland led City to a treble of trophies last season — Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup — while scoring 52 goals.
Messi won his first Ballon d'Or in 2009 and his seventh in 2021.
Bonmati has also been awarded UEFA Best Women's Player and the Golden Ball for the top Women's World Cup player. She scored three times and assisted twice at the tournament.
For the first time last year, the trophy awarded by France Football magazine was based on achievements from the past season. It was previously awarded based on performances through a calendar year.
The women's trophy was created in 2018, and both were cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.