The star player of club Barcelona and also the national team, Lionel Messi, was named the world’s best player of 2010, for his outstanding performance for Barcelona. He was titled for the second consecutive year on Monday, beating his Barcelona teammates, Andrea Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. The award was presented to him at a gala ceremony in FIFA’s home city.
The 23 year old player amassed 58 goals for his team, Barcelona. He obtained 22.65 percent of the votes cast by the coaches and captains of the national teams and also by the invited journalists. Iniesta came second with 17.36 percent and Xavi finished third with 16.48 percent.
“It’s a very special day for me. I didn’t expect to win it. Already it’s a source of happiness to be here with my friends and even more to win it.”, said Messi through a translator on receiving the award.
Barcelona now holds its pride by providing eight winners in the 20 year history of FIFA honour. Players who had bagged the award prior to Messi were – Romario (1994), Ronaldo (1996 and ’97), Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldinho (2004 and ’05). Messi now stand next to Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, for getting the award consecutively.
This distinguished award was renamed this year after FIFA merged its World Player award with the Ballon d’Or trophy, which had been presented to the best player in Europe by France Football Magazine since 1956.
Mourinho and Marta walks with honours:
Jose Mourinho of Inter Milan bagged the award for the Best Coach for Men, while Brazil forward Marta won the women’s player award for the fifth straight year, finishing ahead of the three time German winner Birgit Rrinz and Kosovo new comer, Lira Bajramaj.
“I am looking at contracts for this league. For the time being, I have nothing confirmed”, she said.
Silvia Neid won the inaugural women’s coaching award for her work with German national team, which defends its World Cup title at home in July.
Haitian football received the FIFA fair play award and the FIFA presidential award was given to Archbishop Desmond Tutu I n recognition of South Africa’s organization of the World Cup.