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Lionel Messi wins FIFA Ballon d'Or
by Paul Kennedy, January 10th, 2011 5:03PM
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TAGS:  argentina, fifa, spain


[AWARDS] Argentina’s Lionel Messi collected the FIFA Ballon d’Or, his second consecutive title, ahead of Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi, at ceremonies Monday at the Zurich Kongresshaus.

This the first time is FIFA Ballon d'Or has been awarded since the merger of France Football's Ballon d'Or and FIFA Player of the Year.

Members of the international media have voted for the Ballon d'Or, while national team coaches and captains voted for the FIFA Player of the Year. Their votes counted equally -- one-third each -- in the selection of this year's winner.

Messi obtained 22.65% of the votes, ahead of Iniesta (17.36%) and Xavi (16.48%).

The players were selected from a short list of 23 players.

"I'm happy but I didn't expect it because everyone had been talking so much about Xavi and Andres," said Messi. "They also deserved it for the wonderful year they had. They won the World Cup, which usually goes a long way to deciding who wins this award, and they both had big parts to play in that. That's why I thought one of them would be going up to collect the trophy. It was a wonderful surprise."

Soccer America editor in chief Paul Kennedy was the U.S. media representative and voted for:

1. Xavi, 2. Lionel Messi, 3. Wesley Sneijder.

U.S. coach Bob Bradley: 1. Xavi, 2. Sneijder, 3. Messi. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra: 1. Xavi, 2. Iniesta, 3. Sneijder

FIFA Ballon d'Or
2010 -- Lionel Messi, Barcelona

FIFA Ballon d'Or
1956 -- Stanley Matthews, Blackpool
1957 -- Alfredo Di Stefano, Real Madrid
1958 -- Raymond Kopa, Real Madrid
1959 -- Alfredo Di Stefano, Real Madrid
1960 -- Luis Suarez, Barcelona
1961 -- Omar Sivori, Juventus
1962 -- Josef Masopust, Dukla Prague
1963 -- Lev Yashin, Dynamo Moscow
1964 -- Denis Law, Manchester United
1965 -- Eusebio, Benfica
1966 -- Bobby Charlton, Manchester United
1967 -- Florian Albert, Ferencvaros
1968 -- George Best, Manchester United
1969 -- Gianni Rivera, AC Milan
1970 -- Gerd Mueller, Bayern Munich
1971 -- Johan Cruyff, Ajax
1972 -- Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern Munich
1973 -- Johan Cruyff, Barcelona
1974 -- Johan Cruyff, Barcelona
1975 -- Oleg Blokhin, Dynamo Kiev
1976 -- Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern Munich
1977 -- Allan Simonsen, Borussia Moenchengladbach
1978 -- Kevin Keegan, Hamburg
1979 -- Kevin Keegan, Hamburg
1980 -- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich
1981 -- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich
1982 -- Paolo Rossi, Juventus
1983 -- Michel Platini, Juventus
1984 -- Michel Platini, Juventus
1985 -- Michel Platini, Juventus
1986 -- Igor Belanov, Dynamo Kiev
1987 -- Ruud Gullit, AC Milan
1988 -- Marco Van Basten, AC Milan
1989 -- Marco Van Basten, AC Milan
1990 -- Lothar Matthaeus, Inter Milan
1991 -- Jean-Pierre Papin, Marseille
1992 -- Marco Van Basten, AC Milan
1993 -- Roberto Baggio, Juventus of Turin
1994 -- Hristo Stoitchkov, Barcelona
1995 -- George Weah, AC Milan
1996 -- Matthias Sammer, Borussia Dortmund
1997 -- Ronaldo, Inter Milan
1998 -- Zinedine Zidane, Juventus
1999 -- Rivaldo, Barcelona
2000 -- Luis Figo, Real Madrid
2001 -- Michael Owen, Liverpool
2002 -- Ronaldo, Real Madrid
2003 -- Pavel Nedved, Juventus
2004 -- Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan
2005 -- Ronaldinho, Barcelona
2006 -- Fabio Cannavaro, Real Madrid
2007 -- Kaka, AC Milan
2008 -- Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
2009 -- Lionel Messi, Barcelona

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