Messi named FIFA Player of the Year

21 Dec

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has been honored as the FIFA World Player of the Year. The Argentinian helped lead Barca to the treble (Champions League, Spanish League and Cup) last season. Messi easily outdistanced his fellow candidates in the voting with 1,047 points. Last year’s winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, was second with 354 points. Messi’s Barcelona teammate Xavi was third with 196 points. Earlier this month, Messi also claimed the Ballon D’Or as the top player in Europe. It’s a well-deserved award for Messi as he has the ability to make a game-changing play every time he touches the ball (the most recent example being his extra time winner in the Club World Cup final).

On the women’s side, Brazil’s Marta was voted Women’s World Player of the Year for the fourth year in a row. That’s an incredible feat, but even more so when you realize that she’s only 23 years old.

FIFA also announced the World XI, which features six players based in Spain and five from England:
GK – Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Defenders – Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Midfielders – Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Forwards – Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

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