Tue, January 11, 2011
Sports > Soccer

First ever FIFA Ballon d'Or award goes to Messi

2011-01-11 03:16:15 GMT2011-01-11 11:16:15 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

GENEVA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The first ever FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which has merged the FIFA World Player of the Year award and the France Football's Ballon d'Or award was crowned to Argentine football player Lionel Messi on Monday at Zurich Kongresshaus.

The Argentine footballer is currently playing in both the FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. A rare talent in football field, Messi is considered by many as one of the best football players in decades.

The 24-year-old football player has already championed both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009.

This year, with the merging of the two awards, the voting procedure also combined, as votes are gathered not only from the coaches and captains of international team, as the case of the FIFA Player of the Year award, but also from journalists -- a practice from the France Football's Ballon d'Or.

Messi was elected from a list of three nominees and the other two are Andres Iniesta and Xavi, both Spanish football players and teammates with Messi in FC Barcelona.

According to FIFA, Messi had obtained 22.65 percent of the votes, ahead of Andres Iniesta at 17.36 percent, and Xavi at 16.48 percent.

Meanwhile, Brazil's Marta continued her winning record by claiming her fifth FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

As a superstar in Women's Professional Soccer League in the United States, she had won the Golden Boot and was elected best player of the season with FC Gold Pride.

According to FIFA, the Brazilian football player had collected 38.20 percent of the votes, ahead of Germany's Birgit Prinz and Fatmire Bajramaj, who received 15.18 percent and 9.96 percent votes, respectively.

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