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).
His performance on the pitch is undoubtedly impressive, but Cristiano Ronaldo can now add another accolade to his list of achievements.
The Portuguese striker has scored a goal with European women, who voted him the sexiest player of the current Euro 2008 tournament.
German website Spiegel Online reported that the 23-year-old Manchester United star topped the poll of 12,000 women, which was conducted on behalf of electronics company LG.