Messi wins Ballon d’Or

by Neil Sherwin

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has capped an excellent 2009 by picking up the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

SOCCER 2009 - Champions League Final - Barcelona Beats Manchester United 2-0

French magazine France Football announced the results today and the Argentine was a comfortable winner.

The 22 year old has had a sublime 12 months, winning La Liga, the Uefa Champions League, and the Spanish Cup, scoring 38 goals along the way.

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo finished second, while Messi’s teammate at the Nou Camp, Xavi Hernandez, came third.

“Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009,” Messi told France Football.

“But I didn’t expect to win with such a margin. The Golden Ball is very important to me. All the players who won it were great players, and some great players never won it.

“I dedicate it to my family. They were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me.”

Messi is also the favourite to pick up the 2009 Fifa World Player of the Year on December 21.

Chelsea’s Didier Drogba was the highest placed Premiership player in ninth spot.

The results in full -

1. Lionel Messi (Argentine, FC Barcelone) : 473 points
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United puis Real Madrid) : 233 pts
3. Xavi (Espagne, FC Barcelone) : 170 pts
4. Andrès Iniesta (Espagne, FC Barcelone) : 149 pts
5. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroun, FC Barcelone puis Inter Milan) : 75 pts
6. Kaka (Brésil, Milan AC puis Real Madrid) : 58 pts
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Suède, Inter Milan puis FC Barcelone) : 50 pts
8. Wayne Rooney (Angleterre, Manchester United): 35 pts
9. Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire, Chelsea): 33 pts
10. Steven Gerrard (Angleterre, Liverpool) : 32 pts
11. Fernando Torres (Espagne, Liverpool): 22 pts
12. Cesc Fabregas (Espagne, Arsenal) : 13 pts
13. Edin Dzeko (Bosnie, Wolfsburg) : 12 pts
14. Ryan Giggs (Pays de Galles, Manchester United) : 11 pts
15. Thierry Henry (France, FC Barcelone) : 9 pts
16. Luis Fabiano (Brésil, FC Séville), Nemanja Vidic (Serbie, Manchester United), Iker Casillas (Espagne, Real Madrid): 8 pts
19. Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid) : 7 pts
20. Yoann Gourcuff (France, Bordeaux) : 6 pts
21. Andreï Archavine (Russie, Arsenal), Julio Cesar (Brésil, Inter Milan), Frank Lampard (Angleterre, Chelsea) : 5 pts
24. Maicon (Brésil, Inter Milan) : 4 pts
25. Diego (Brésil, Werder Brême puis Juventus Turin) : 3 pts
26. David Villa (Espagne, Valence), John Terry (Angleterre, Chelsea) : 2 pts
28. Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern Munich), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire, FC Barcelone) : 1 pt
30. Karim Benzema (France, Lyon puis Real Madrid): 0 pt

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