Messi, Marta Win FIFA Ballon d’Or

By Dialogo
January 12, 2011

WOW.. THIS IS GREAT .. BESIDES KNOWING THAT MESSI (MY IDOL) WON THE AWARD AGAIN ... AND MARTA ALSO... MESSI DESERVED THIS AWARD MORE THAN INIESTA AND XAVI, WHO ARE ALSO MY IDOLS ... BUT MESSI DESERVED IT ...
In a major upset in Zurich, Argentine Leo Messi won FIFA’s Golden Ball for the best player of 2010, beating out Spaniards Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández, Barcelona teammates of his, who were the favorites.

With all bets on Iniesta or Xavi, Barcelona’s coach opened the envelope containing the winner’s name, and it was Messi, for the second year in a row, after winning the Golden Ball and FIFA’s World Player award, which were merged this year, in 2009.

Messi’s triumph breaks with the tradition of recent years in which a player from the team that won the World Cup takes home the trophy for the year’s best player.

“It was already great to be with these teammates among the finalists. I want to share this with my teammates and with my loved ones, and with all Barcelona fans and all Argentines,” Messi said after receiving the trophy.

“It surprised me to win, given how the betting pools were, which were favoring Xavi and Andrés, but I’m grateful to the people who voted for me,” a stunned Messi said. “The truth is that both Andrés and Xavi did a huge amount to earn the award; they ended the World Cup spectacularly,” the Argentine added.

Messi joins soccer legends who won the Golden Ball more than once, such as his compatriot Alfredo Di Stefano, Dutchmen Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten, Germans Franz Beckenbauer and Karl Heinz Rummenigge, Englishman Kevin Keegan, Frenchman Michel Platini, and Brazilian Ronaldo.

“The truth is that it’s a privilege to be among the greats and have two Golden Balls,” Messi indicated.

On the women’s side, Brazilian Marta won FIFA’s trophy for the world’s best female player for the fifth year in a row, beating out the other two finalists in the voting, Germans Birgit Prinz and Fatmire Bajramaj.

Marta, who won this year’s U.S. Women’s Professional Soccer League championship with the Gold Pride, also took home the trophy in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

“Nothing would have been possible without the people who accompany me day after day, my family, my professional teammates, and my teammates on the national team. Without all these people, I couldn’t have attained these successes, which I can’t believe. I ask for health in order to keep reaching other objectives,” Marta said after receiving the prize.

The head coaches and captains of the national teams of FIFA’s associated federations, in addition to 154 international reporters, voted in the balloting for the best female player.



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