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Updated: August 28, 2009 13:32 IST

Messi scoops top UEFA award

AP
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The best forward and player of the year FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, reacts after he received his trophy from UEFA President Michel Platini at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
AP
The best forward and player of the year FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, reacts after he received his trophy from UEFA President Michel Platini at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was named the best player of the 2008-09 Champions League on Thursday.

The Argentina forward was voted the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year accolade by coaches of the 15 other teams who reached the knockout rounds of the tournament.

“It is an enormous joy to be able to receive such an important award as this,” Messi said. “And it’s also a pleasure to be able to thank all the people who voted for me and who decided I should get this award.”

Messi scored nine times in Barcelona’s stylish march to the title, including a 70{+t}{+h}-minute header in the final to seal a 2-0 win against Manchester United.

He was voted best forward and his teammate Xavi Hernandez was named the best midfield player at the draw ceremony for this season’s competition.

Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar was named best goalkeeper and John Terry of Chelsea the best defender.

Messi succeeded Cristiano Ronaldo, the world player of the year, in winning the UEFA award, and became the second Argentine winner after Fernando Redondo in Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning season of 2000.

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