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Updated: January 11, 2011 01:22 IST

Messi wins 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi poses with the trophy after being voted as the world's best football player. Photo: AP
Barcelona's Lionel Messi poses with the trophy after being voted as the world's best football player. Photo: AP

Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award on Monday as the world’s best player of 2010.

Messi won the trophy for a second straight year, finishing ahead of Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.

“It’s a very special day for me,” Messi said through a translator on receiving the award at a gala ceremony in FIFA’s home city.

The 23-year-old Messi helped an exciting Barcelona team retain its Spanish league title and lead the standings again this season.

Messi’s trademark tricky play was often mesmerizing and he scored 58 goals for the Catalan club in 2010. However, he had a disappointing World Cup in South Africa, failing to score. Iniesta and Xavi, by comparison, starred for eventual winner Spain.

“I didn’t expect to win it today,” Messi said. “Already it’s a source of happiness to be here with my friends and even more to win it.”

Messi obtained 22.65 percent of the votes cast by coaches and captains of national teams plus invited journalists. The original shortlist featured 23 players.

Andres Iniesta finished second with 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 percent to finish third for the second straight year.

All three candidates learned their craft at Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy.

Barcelona has now provided eight winners in the 20-year history of the FIFA honour. Messi follows former Brazilian internationals Romario (1994), Ronaldo (1996 and ‘97), Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldinho (2004 and ‘05).

The award was renamed this year after FIFA merged its world player award with the Ballon d’Or trophy, which had been presented to the best player in Europe by France Football magazine since 1956.

Earlier, Jose Mourinho won the men’s coach award for leading Inter Milan to a treble including the Champions League.

Mourinho beat World Cup-winning Spain coach Vicente del Bosque and Pep Guardiola of Barcelona to the inaugural honour. The Portuguese coach guided Inter to the Italian league and cup double before leaving to join Real Madrid.

Brazil forward Marta won the best women’s player award for a fifth straight year, defeating Germany internationals Birgit Prinz and Kosovo-born Lira Bajramaj.

Marta was rewarded for her MVP season with United States women’s professional league champion Gold Pride.

Silvia Neid won the inaugural women’s coaching award for her work with the Germany national team, which defends its World Cup title at home in July. Also shortlisted were Maren Meinert, whose Germany Under-20 team was world champion in July, and Pia Sundhage, the Swedish coach of the United States’ Olympic champions.

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No one but Messi deserves this award. He was the god of football while others were children.

from:  bond
Posted on: Jan 18, 2011 at 20:46 IST

He is the best footballer at the moment..but it was a tight call for all the three players..they deserved to win as well but unfortunately there can be only one wineer..and that Lionel 'Leo' Messi.

from:  Siyabonga
Posted on: Jan 12, 2011 at 17:35 IST

While there is no doubting his talent or his contribution in helping barcelona retain the La Liga, I personally feel that this year it should have been awarded to Xavi or Iniesta for helping Spain lift the World Cup. After all, the World Cup is much bigger compared to national titles. FIFA should have noted that Messi had failed to impress at the World Cup

from:  Sreenath Sugunan
Posted on: Jan 12, 2011 at 16:55 IST

Its shame on FIFA to award Messi. No doubt he is a great player, but last year players like Sneijder,Xavi,Robben were far better than Messi. It's high time that FIFA take appropriate steps and award the deserving one.

from:  Swaroop
Posted on: Jan 12, 2011 at 11:55 IST

Good Luck To Messi. You are the best player in this world and also in Barcelona team..

from:  Fairuz
Posted on: Jan 12, 2011 at 09:00 IST

This is an absolute disgrace! How on earth did he win the award without winning any of the major tournaments of 2010 notably Uefa Champion's league, FIFA World Cup and World Club Cup. FIFA has lost it big time and this is a slap on the face of the entire Spanish populace. Messi is definitely not the best in 2010!

from:  Mustapha Abdulrasheed
Posted on: Jan 11, 2011 at 15:51 IST

Of course I agree - Lionel Messi is the best player in the world

from:  Fontil Fito
Posted on: Jan 11, 2011 at 07:32 IST

I knew Messi was gonna win it. We love you Messi ..You are the best for ever ... Barcelona are the best team for ever. Well done boys -good job for 2010 and keep it to 2011.

from:  Gianni Kola
Posted on: Jan 11, 2011 at 06:38 IST

C. Ronaldo deserves this title not Messi.

from:  Amson
Posted on: Jan 11, 2011 at 05:05 IST
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