Lionel Messi has capped a superb year by picking up the FIFA World Player of the Year award at a ceremony in Zurich last night.
The Barcelona and Argentina star was selected from a shortlist which is also contained his club team mates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
Messi, the first Argentine to win the award, was understandably delighted, thoughplayed down the plaudits being lavished on him.
“No, please, I am not king of the world now, nor the number one, I don’t believe in those things,” he said.
“I am the same person as always and I have the good fortune to play in a great team. It was an historic year for Barca and for me but it’s thanks to the work of everyone.”
The award, which is made up of the votes of captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams, saw Messi scoop 1,073 votes, Ronaldo 352, Xavi 196, Kaka 190 and Iniesta 134.
Premier League stars Nemanja Vidic, Steven Gerrard, Patrice Evra and Fernando Torres were named in the FIFPro World XI.
Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the inaugural Puskas Award for the best goal of the year for his long range effort for Manchester United against Porto in the Champions League last season.
Brazilian Marta (right) won the Women’s World Player of the Year for a record fourth consecutive time.
The 23 year old starred in the revamped Women’s Professional Soccer League in the U.S., where she won the Golden Boot and was elected best player of the season with Los Angeles Sol, and also claimed the titles of the women’s Copa Libertadores and Copa de Brasil with Santos.
She overcame Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Inka Grings, England’s Kelly Smith and Brazil’s Cristiane to win the FIFA award.
FIFPro Team of the Year:
Dani Alves, Evra, Terry, Vidic
Xavi, Iniesta, Gerrard
Ronaldo, Messi, Torres