Lionel Messi tonight became the inaugural winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or tonight in Zurich. Messi was selected ahead of Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Messi who was simply brilliant last-year scored an amazing 60 goals for club and country in 2010 while helping Barcelona retain its Spanish league title.
The FIFA Ballon d’Or is a new award created following the merging of France Football magazine’s European Footballer of the Year prize with the FIFA World Player of the Year gong. Voting is conducted by journalists from around the world and coaches and captains of national teams.
Last year Messi won France Football magazine’s European Footballer of the Year trophy and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, making him the only the fourth person to ever to win these awards in multiple years. The other winners were Brazil strikers Ronaldo and Rivaldo and France’s Zinedine Zidane as a multiple winner of the latter accolade.
Messi also became the first player to be awarded the prize in a World Cup year without having won the tournament for the first time since 1994 (when non-Europeans were ineligible).