Messi Named FIFA Player Of The Year
By Dialogo December 22, 2009Lionel Messi is the FIFA World Player of the Year after leading FC Barcelona to an unprecedented trio of Spanish and European titles. The 22-year-old Argentine beat 2008 winner Cristiano Ronaldo, 2007 winner Kaka, and his Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in voting among national team captains and coaches. The award caps a perfect year for the winger. Messi won a Spanish league and cup double and the European championship last season. He added another title with an extra-time goal Saturday to beat Estudiantes and give Barcelona its first Club World Cup. Messi, who accepted the award at a FIFA gala in Zurich said "I'm extremely happy. We've just ended a historic year, a perfect year in which we've won every competition we've played in. We just needed to take this last step and everything has worked out how we wanted. It's amazing." The 22-year-old won the award for the first time, beating last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo, his two clubmates Andres Iniesta and Xavi and Brazil midfielder Kaka. He was presented with the trophy at a glittering awards gala in Zurich.