Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lionel Messi 2011 Wins Prize For World's Best Player

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Argentina has won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the best player of 2010.

This sees the Argentine retain the award for the footballer of the year: last year he was the undisputed winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or prize, which have this year merged into one single title.

Messi thus becomes one of a rare few to win the award twice in a row, beating club teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta, both of Spain, in the process. He obtained 22.65 per cent of the votes, overcoming Iniesta's 17.36 per cent and Xavi's 16.48 per cent.

Lionel Messi 2011 Best Player of Footballer

Best Yet Again

FIFA's voting panel judged Messi to be the best due to his astounding club form. In La Liga, Messi has spent the last twelve months scoring a goal a game. In those matches that he didn't score he often turned provider: in the 5-0 rout of Real Madrid, Messi set up two of the strikes for his teammates.

A disappointing World Cup for Argentina could have hampered Messi's chances - in World Cup years, it is often players from the winning team that win the Ballon d'Or. This year seems to be an exception to the rule.

Xavi, meanwhile, missed out despite a year in which he provided the most assists of all, and had a passing rate the likes of which is seldom seen. Andres Iniesta, another key assister who also scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, perhaps failed to win due to missing much of the year with injury.

Second In A Row
Barcelona failed to win the Champions League in 2009-10, but this did not cost Messi due to his tremendous individual showings throughout the tournament.

He was the top scorer in Europe's premier club competition despite not reaching the final, with four of his eight tournament goals coming in one glorious performance against Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

His prowess in front of goal was no less in La Liga.
En route to winning the La Liga Player of the Year award for the second time in a row, Messi became his club's and in fact the whole league's top goalscorer, netting 34 goals in 35 appearances. This also brought him the European Golden Shoe award for top continental striker.

Needless to say, he was also named Argentine Footballer of the Year for the fifth time in six years.

Against The Grain?
Not everyone agreed with FIFA's decision that Messi should win. In a poll run in the days leading up to the announcement, a
majority tipped Xavi to win the award, with the Argentine in second and Iniesta a distant third.

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