Yesterday night, 9th January 2012, Lionel Messi was awarded the Ballon d’Or Award (Award for World’s best male football player) for the year 2011 by FIFA. The Ballon d’Or Award ceremony took place in Zurich, Switzerland.
This is the third consecutive time that he has won this award.
The Barcelona and Argentina forward won the FIFA Ballon d’Or Award for 2011, beating his club teammate Xavi Hernandez and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.
“It’s a huge pleasure for me,” Messi said, after accepting the trophy from another three-time winner, former Brazil forward Ronaldo. “It’s the third time I get this award, and it’s a huge honor.”
With help of Messi’s goals Barcelona managed to win five trophies last year, including the Champions League, Spanish League and Club World Cup.
Messi is the first man to win three straight FIFA world player awards in the honor’s 21-year history. Zinedine Zidane of France also won three FIFA player awards.
The “Ballon d’Or”, translates to “Golden Ball” or “Golden Balloon” and is often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award.
Japan’s Homare Sawa Won the female Ballon d’Or Award (Award for world’s best female football player) for the year 2011. Homare Sawa of Japan ended Brazilian forward Marta’s five-year reign as FIFA player of the year.
Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola was named 2011 Men’s Coach of the Year and Japan women’s national team coach Norio Sasaki was awarded the Women’s Coach of the Year prize.
FIFA/FIFPro World XI was also announced at the award function. It includes :
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid). Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United). Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona). Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
Santos star Neymar has been awarded the FIFA Puskas Award 2011 for his sensational solo strike against Flamengo, beating Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney to the prize for greatest goal of the year.