Lionel Messi Winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi was Monday named winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. The newly named award resulted from the merger of the FIFA World Player and the Ballon d’Or awards, both of which Messi won last year.

Messi, 23, who made history by becoming the first Argentine player to win the award in 2009, beat off Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the voting. The announcement of Messi’s win was made by Pep Guardiola, his coach at Barcelona.

His voice breaking with emotion, Messi said: “This is special for me and I’d like to share this award with my team-mates, with all the people that have helped me and with all of the Argentine people.”

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