Messi wins third successive FIFA Ballon dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or Award
Zurich, Switzerland -Ã‚Â Lionel MessiÃ‚Â was crowned the winner of FIFA Ballon dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or for the third year running, having starred for Barcelona andÃ‚Â ArgentinaÃ‚Â in 2001. In a year that saw him lift the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, he fought off competition from team-mateÃ‚Â XaviÃ‚Â and Real MadridÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â Cristiano Ronaldo.
On being presented with the award at the FIFA Ballon dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or Gala 2011 in Zurich at the Home of FIFA, the left-footed wizard said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a big pleasure to win the third, a big honour. I want to thank the team-mates, players and coaches that voted me.
In receiving the award he became the second player ever to win the award three times in a row in the 55 year history of the Ballon dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Or and the 20 year history of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, after Michel Platini claimed France Football’s title in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Messi won both titles in 2009, before winning the first combined award in 2010 before triumphing one again this year.
This was his second FIFA trophy of the season, having scored the first goal in BarcelonaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 3-0 triumph over Santos in the Club World Cup in Tokyo, the second time he has won the title.
During his triumphs for Barcelona in the 2010/11 season the struck a phenomenal 53 goals in 55 games in all competitions, alongside 24 assists. He hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stopped since, netting 31 times in 28 games in the current season ahead of tonightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ceremony, laying on 14 for his team-mates.
He was also named in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI, alongside team-matesÃ‚Â Xavi,Ã‚Â Andres Iniesta, Daniel Alves andÃ‚Â Gerard Pique, while coachÃ‚Â Pep GuardiolaÃ‚Â was named FIFA Coach of the Year for Men’s Football.