Lionel Messi voted Europe best player | inside World Soccer


Lionel Messi voted Europe best player

Friday, August 26, 2011

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe award, which replaces the European Footballer of the Year award.

Lionel Messi poses UEFA president Michel Platini afyer receiving the trophy of Best player in Europe
Lionel Messi poses UEFA president Michel Platini afyer receiving the trophy of Best player in Europe

Photo: Getty Images

The 24-year-old comfortably beat team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo into second and third place respectively to lift the prize.

A panel of 53 journalists drawn from each of UEFA's member nations voted ahead of the draw for this season's Champions League group stage.

Messi scored 53 goals last season, including 12 in the Champions League, where he finished as the top scorer for the third season in succession.

"I'd like to thank all the people that voted for me, and all my team-mates," Messi said at the awards ceremony in Monaco.

"I keep all these awards at home and I still have some space for more. It's an honor to be so successful and to come up with the goods at the right time. Thanks to my teammates for helping me achieve this.

"(My motivation) comes from being at a club that's so successful and having a structure that allows us to be so successful. That was taught to me when I moved over and I've tried my best to keep it up."

The award is designed to replace the old Ballon d'Or award for the best player in Europe, which has been supplanted by the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the best player in the world.

UEFA Best Player in Europe 2010/11 top ten

1Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2Xavi (Barcelona)
3Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
4Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)
5Falcao (FC Porto)
6Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
7Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United)
8Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan)
9Gerard Piqué (Barcelona)
10Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04)


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