Messi Wins Inaugural Fifa Ballon d'Or
Tuesday, 11th January 2011 at 07:38am
Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi capped another remarkable year when he scooped the inaugural Fifa Ballon d'Or award at a lavish ceremony in Zurich.
Messi, the 2009 Fifa World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or winner, was nominated for the prize - an amalgamation of the two awards - after scoring a remarkable 60 goals for both club and country in 2010.
The Argentine number 10 pipped Barcelona team mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez to the award.
"I'm surprised to win but pleased to be here with my friends," said Messi.
"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," he added.
The two midfield stars were considered joint favourites for the award after guiding Barcelona to domestic success and being the foundation upon which Spain built its World Cup winning team; the former scoring the deciding goal in the final against the Netherlands.
The Ballon d'Or is awarded based on votes cast by journalists around the world and by national captains and coaches.
Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho was unsurprisingly named Coach of the Year after leading Inter Milan to the unprecedented treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League.
Other awards went to Hamit Altintop who took home the Puskas Award for Goal of the Year in recognition of his stunning goal against Kazakhstan for Turkey, Brazilian striker Marta who won the Women's Player of the Year Award for the fifth consecutive year and Silvia Neid of Germany who was named Women's Coach of the Year.