Lionel Messi was rewarded for a stunning year in which he helped Barcelona to an unprecedented six trophies by being named FIFA’s World Player of the Year.
The 22-year-old won the award for the first time, beating last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, his two clubmates Andres Iniesta and Xavi and Brazil midfielder Kaka. He was presented with the trophy at a glittering awards gala in Zurich.
Also, the FIFA/FIFPro World XI, voted by members of the international professional footballers’ union FIFPro:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).
Barcelona’s Argentine ace Lionel Messi won the 2009 Ballon D’Or, or European Footballer of The Year last week.
Ronaldo, winner in 2008, came in second.
Both player have had a sensational 2008/2009 season; but the Champions League made the difference.
Messi and Barcelona were comfortable winner in the final, with Ronaldo overshadowed completely in Manchester United shirt.
The award could have gone the other way if Ronaldo and MU were the Champions, only IF.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2008 Ballon d’Or award ahead of Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres.
Ronaldo was the clear favourite to land the prestigious prize after a remarkable year at Old Trafford. The powerful attacker netted 42 goals last season as the Red Devils claimed Premier League and UEFA Champions League glory.
He is already FIFPro World Player of the Year and also took the top prizes from the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football Writers last term.
The Portugal winger is the first United player to win the Ballon d’Or since George Best in 1968 and the first from his country since Luis Figo in 2000.