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Two sports icons collided at the Ballon d’Or: Tennis’ Novak Djokovic and football’s Lionel Messi. Although the moment was fleeting, the sports community rejoiced as the two most decorated athletes in the world shared a hug before the ceremony began.

Why was Djokovic at the Ballon d’Or?

The 2023 Ballon d’Or is a ceremony hosted by France Football magazine to honor the finest football players in the world for the 2022-23 season. So, if it’s a Football awards ceremony, why was the first-ranked Tennis star spotted there?

Well, it just so happens that Djokovic was in town for the Rolex Paris Masters 2023, his first tournament since winning the US Open back in September. And, as a football fan, he took this opportunity to meet the football stars.

At the ceremony, not only did Djokovic share a moment with Lionel Messi, he also had the opportunity to hand over the women’s Ballon d’Or trophy to FIFA World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati of Spain.

Before this, though, Djokovic was also spotted in the Stade de France in Paris, watching the Rugby World Cup Final.

Djokovic as a Football fan

In an interview, Djokovic shared that before this month, he never attended a Rugby World Cup Final or a Ballon d’Or ceremony.

“You know it’s nice to use the opportunity when I have the tournament in the city where you have some big sporting events, like the World Cup Finals of Rugby and, of course, Ballon d’Or,” the tennis star said. “ I’ve never attended neither Rugby World Cup Final nor the Ballon d’Or, so I’m really enjoying myself.”

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And, when asked about whether he was a big fan of the sport, Djokovic promptly responded, “I am, of course. Most of the world, you know, football obviously is, by far, the most popular sport in the world. And I grew up watching Football, playing football. My father was a professional for some time. You know, I’m really excited to be here.”

Paris Masters

After resting for six weeks and attending two big events in Paris, the world will finally see Djokovic set foot on the court once again.

He is set to compete at the Paris Masters, where he’s been dubbed the king of the tournament by tennis.com for winning the Masters 1000 event six times.

He was also recently seen training with the second-ranked Spanish player, Carlos Alcaraz, for the upcoming event.

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