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).

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Cristiano Ronaldo was named as FIFA World Player of the Year for 2008 on Monday and became the first Premier League player to get the award at a star-studded gala in Zurich.

The 23-year-old was in stunning form last term when he helped Manchester United to Premier League and European Cup success hitting 42 goals in the process, and after FIFA’s annual poll of international team coaches and captains he has added the world governing body’s prize to the prestigious Ballon d’Or which he has already received.

Ronaldo received the award from Pele, and said: ”It is an overwhelming moment and a very special moment in my life and I would like to say to my mother and sister that the fireworks can be set off now.

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