The Argentina international won the eighth such award of one of the most remarkable careers ever seen in sport after leading his country to their first World Cup triumph in 36 years last December.
Though Messi has since left top level European football by joining Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, the victorious campaign in Qatar was enough to see him handed a record-extending eighth crown.
He now leads old rival Cristiano Ronaldo by three awards as some of football’s most exciting young players bid to overtake their great duopoly.
Haaland finished second in the rankings just ahead of Kylian Mbappe in third as Jude Bellingham lifted the prestigious Kopa Trophy.
The age of Messi and Ronaldo appears to be at end and the 36-year-old has backed Haaland in particular to one day win the award.
“Haaland and Mbappe will win the Ballon d’Or one day,” he said.
“Erling deserved it very much too, he has won Premier League, Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. This award could have been yours today too.
“I’m sure in the next years you will win it”.