Messi recognised as Europe's finest

Lionel Messi, a pivotal figure in FC Barcelona's march to UEFA Champions League glory last season, collected the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award in Monaco.

Edwin van der Sar, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández and John Terry pose with their UEFA Club Footballer of the Year titles in Monaco
Edwin van der Sar, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández and John Terry pose with their UEFA Club Footballer of the Year titles in Monaco ©Getty Images

Lionel Messi, a key figure in FC Barcelona's march to UEFA Champions League glory last season, has more to celebrate after collecting the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year prize at the UEFA Club Football Awards in Monaco. The Argentinian international was also selected as Best Forward while team-mate Xavi Hernández took the Best Midfielder trophy. Manchester United FC's Edwin van der Sar was nominated Best Goalkeeper and Chelsea FC captain John Terry completed the honours list as he received his third Best Defender gong from Paolo Maldini.

Sensational season
Messi had scored Barcelona's second goal – his ninth of the 2008/09 competition – in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome, as the Catalan side became the first Spanish team to lift the Liga, Copa del Rey and European Champion Clubs' Cup titles in one season. If the headed goal from Messi that capped his sensational campaign was a collector's item, his presence on the scoresheet was more predictable: the 22-year-old struck 38 goals in all competitions last term.

'Important award'
Messi succeeds Cristiano Ronaldo as the Club Footballer of the Year and is the second Argentinian international to land the prize after Fernando Redondo in 2000. "It is an enormous joy to be able to receive such an important award as this," he said. "And it's also a pleasure to be able to thank all the people who voted for me and who decided I should get this award."

UEFA Club Footballer of the Year
Year Player Club
2009 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United FC
2007 Kaká AC Milan
2006 Ronaldinho FC Barcelona
2005 Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC
2004 Deco FC Porto
2003 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus FC
2002 Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid CF
2001 Stefan Effenberg FC Bayern München
2000 Fernando Redondo Real Madrid CF
1999 David Beckham Manchester United FC
1998 Ronaldo FC Internazionale Milano

Best Goalkeeper
Year Player Club
2009 Edwin van der Sar Manchester United FC FC
2008 Petr Čech Chelsea FC
2007 Petr Čech Chelsea FC
2006 Jens Lehmann Arsenal FC
2005 Petr Čech Chelsea FC
2004 Vítor Baía FC Porto
2003 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus
2002 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
2001 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
2000 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
1999 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
1998 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United FC

Best Defender
Year Player Club
2009 John Terry Chelsea FC
2008 John Terry Chelsea FC
2007 Paolo Maldini AC Milan
2006 Carles Puyol FC Barcelona
2005 John Terry Chelsea FC
2004 Ricardo Carvalho FC Porto
2003 Roberto Carlos Real Madrid CF
2002 Roberto Carlos Real Madrid CF
2001 Roberto Ayala Valencia CF
2000 Jaap Stam Manchester United FC
1999 Jaap Stam Manchester United FC
1998 Fernando Hierro Real Madrid CF

Best Midfielder
Year Player Club
2009 Xavi Hernández FC Barcelona
2008 Frank Lampard Chelsea FC
2007 Clarence Seedorf AC Milan
2006 Deco FC Barcelona
2005 Kaká AC Milan
2004 Deco FC Porto
2003 Pavel Nedvěd Juventus
2002 Michael Ballack FC Bayern München
2001 Gaizka Mendieta Valencia CF
2000 Gaizka Mendieta Valencia CF
1999 David Beckham Manchester United FC
1998 Zinédine Zidane Juventus

Best Forward
Year Player Club
2009 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United FC
2007 Kaká AC Milan
2006 Samuel Eto'o FC Barcelona
2005 Ronaldinho FC Barcelona
2004 Fernando Morientes AS Monaco FC
2003 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United FC
2002 Raúl González Real Madrid CF
2001 Raúl González Real Madrid CF
2000 Raúl González Real Madrid CF
1999 Andriy Shevchenko FC Dynamo Kyiv
1998 Ronaldo FC Internazionale Milano