Messi Wins FIFA Player of the Year

Lionel Messi bested two of his Barcelona teammates to become the first winner of the Ballon d’Or—an award that merges the FIFA World Player of the Year and France Football magazine’s European Footballer of the Year.

Messi edged teammates and Spanish internationals Xavi and Andres Iniesta although the Spaniards received a boost by winning the World Cup. Messi received the most votes from managers and captains of national teams, as well as sports journalists worldwide. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win today, but it was already great to be here next to my two mates,” the 23-year-old Argentinian said. “To win it makes it even more special.”

Messi scored a total of 60 goals in 2010, most of them he made in the Spanish La Liga. He had 42 La Liga goals for Barcelona last year and 12 more in the Champions League, ESPN said in a report. While Barcelona players dominated the players awards, Barca manager Pep Guardiola lost the FIFA World Coach of the Year to Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho, who helped Italian side Inter Milan complete a treble by winning the Champions League, Serie A, and Coppa Italia.