Lionel Messi wins 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or | inside World Soccer


Lionel Messi wins 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lionel Messi has been named winner of the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which merged the FIFA World Player of the Year with France Football's Ballon d'Or.

Lionel Messi holds the trophy after he was awarded with the FIFA Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi holds the trophy after he was awarded with the FIFA Ballon d'Or

Photo: Reuters

The Argentine forward beat out Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, who both won the World Cup with Spain last summer, to scoop the gong in Zurich on Monday evening.

Messi received 22.65 percent of the votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus selected reporters. Iniesta followed with 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 percent to finish third for the second straight year.

"To be honest, I didn't expect to win today, but it was already great to be here next to my two mates," Messi said.

"To win it makes it even more special. I want to share with all of my friends, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians."

Messi, who scored an astonishing 60 goals for club and country in 2010, becomes the first player to be awarded the prize in a World Cup year without having won the tournament for the first time since 1994 (when non-Europeans were ineligible).

Meanwhile, José Mourinho was voted men's coach of the year after leading Inter Milan to the unprecedented treble, Brazilian forward Marta was selected women's player of the year for the fifth straight time and Germany's Silvia Neid earned women's coach of the year honors.

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