FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi has been named as FIFA World Player of the Year in Zurich, concluding: "It is beautiful to have the recognition of your colleagues from other national teams."
The Argentinian, who won a Liga, Spanish Cup and UEFA Champions League treble with his club last season, has since added the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to his haul for 2010 and took this latest prize despite competition from Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Kaká and last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo. "First of all I would like to thank all of my colleagues who voted, as it is a huge honour to receive this award," said the 22-year-old, who was also presented with the Ballon d'Or at the start of the month. "It is beautiful to have the recognition of your colleagues from other national teams. I want to say thanks and share this with all of my team-mates. This is the best way to end a magnificent year for Barcelona, my team-mates and for me. Thanks a lot."
Sir Bobby honoured
The ceremony also saw Brazil forward Marta, formerly a player at Swedish side Umeå IK, receive her fourth successive FIFA Women's World Player award, while world football's governing body paid tribute to former England manager Sir Bobby Robson, who died in July at the age of 76, presenting his widow Lady Elsie Robson with the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Messi was also one of four Barcelona players named in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI. The full lineup is:-
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF), Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC), John Terry (Chelsea FC), Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United FC), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC).
Voting continues for the uefa.com users' Team of 2009 and fans have until 8 January 2010 to select their star performers from a list of 60 players and coaches who have shone in the last 12 months. Click here to cast your vote.
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