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FIFA Ballon d’Or 2011 – Messi wins again

The best in the world. Again. (Photo: FIFA.com)

 

Lionel Messi was crowned the best footballer on the planet for a third consecutive year, after picking up yet another FIFA Ballon d’Or at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala held at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Monday evening (local time).

 

The Argentina international received 47.88% of the vote, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (21.6%) and Barcelona teammate Xavi (9.23%).

 

Messi’s coach at club level, Pep Guardiola, also took out FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football.

 

Both of these would not have come as a surprise to many, as both Messi and Guardiola were at the heart of a successful campaign which saw success in the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

 

Put simply – is there anything this side can’t win?

 

In the other awards, Japan’s Homare Sawa claimed her first FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award after guiding her nation to a maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 

Her national team coach, Norio Sasaki, won the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football.

 

The 2011 FIFA/FIFPro WORLD XI was also announced, with a strong Spanish influence. It was selected with a 4-3-3 formation.

 

The team is as follows:

 

GK: Iker Casillas (Spain)

D: Dani Alves (Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)

M: Xabi Alonso (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain) and Xavi (Spain)

F: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Wayne Rooney (England)

 

Young Brazilian star Neymar took out the FIFA Puskás Award for the “most beautiful goal” of the year, with this sneaky effort against Flamengo.

 

 

If you missed the awards, you can see highlights on SBS at 11am Sunday 15th January.

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