Ballon d’Or 2010: Lionel Messi crowned player of the year

Argentina and Barcelona forward beats off competition from Andres Iniesta and Xavi to win 2010 accolade

lionel messi
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been named as the World Player of the Year for the second year running after the Argentine won the inaugural Fifa Ballon d'Or Award for 2010

lionel messi

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been named as the World Player of the Year for the second year running after the Argentine won the inaugural Fifa Ballon d’Or Award for 2010.

Messi, 23, was selected ahead of his Barcelona team-mates, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, who both won the World Cup with Spain in South Africa last summer.

“I’m surprised to win but pleased to be here with my friends,” said Messi, who scored 60 goals for club and country during 2010. “To win it makes it even more special. I want to share it with all of my friends, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians. It’s a very special day for me.”

Messi emerged as the winner of the award after having secured 22.65 per cent of the total votes, with Iniesta in second place with 17.36 per cent, followed by Xavi with 16.48 per cent.

Meanwhile, current Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter Milan to an historic treble last season, was named Coach of the Year. The 47-year-old manager only just beat World Cup winning Spain boss Vincente del Bosque to the award after receiving 2.84 per cent more of the vote.

“The most important trophies for me are the collective ones, not the individual ones but this is a historic trophy for me and Portuguese football,” said Mourinho.

Brazil’s Marta won a record fifth successive Women’s Player of the Year award and Hamit Altintop’s volley for Turkey against Kazakhstan won the Goal of the Year prize.

The Fifa Ballon d’Or 2010 is the result of the merging of the the Fifa World Player of the Year, which is voted for by players and coaches, and the Ballon d’Or, which was awarded by journalists via France Football magazine.

The award was previously only voted for by journalists but for the first time the voting committee included all the managers and captains of the 208 national sides affiliated to Fifa.

Awards in full

Men’s Player of the Year: Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina).

Women’s Player of the Year: Marta (FC Gold Pride, Santos and Brazil).

Men’s Coach of the Year: Jose Mourinho (Inter Milan and Real Madrid).

Women’s Coach of the Year: Silvia Neid (Germany).

World XI: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain); Maicon (Inter and Brazil), Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain), Lucio (Inter and Brazil), Carles Puyol (Barcelona and Spain); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain), Xavi (Barcelona and Spain), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan and Holland); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), David Villa (Barcelona and Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina).

Puskas Award (Goal of the Year): Hamit Altintop (Kazakhstan v TURKEY).

Fair Play Award: Haiti Women Under-17s.

Presidential Award: Desmond Tutu.

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