The Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or trophy, ahead of Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
Messi, 23, becomes the inaugural winner of the award (he won both separate awards, the FIFA World Player and the singular Ballon d’Or last season) after another sensational year during which he was an integral part of the Barcelona side that romped home to win La Liga last season – Messi scored 47 goals in all competitions.
The Argentine wasn’t able to guide his national side to glory in South Africa at the World Cup however, failing to find the net as Argentina were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Germany, when Diego Maradona’s side were ripped to pieces by a vibrant German side 4-0.
However, those failings were more to do with the side rather than with Messi himself and this season has seen the Argentine forward, for whom superlatives are simply running out, take his game to another level.
So far he has another 18 goals and 12 assists in La Liga this season – from just 15 games – and 28 goals in 26 matches altogether.
Editor Comment: Stunning ability on the field and a humbleness to match off it – upon receiving the award Messi attributed his win to the ability of his team-mates and his manager, Pep Guardiola, who handed him the award – Lionel Messi is simply the greatest player of his generation. Perhaps, even, of any generation.
Lionel Messi, FOOTBALL24SEVEN salutes you.