Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornagraphy without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

WEB NEWS

Another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

DEBATE

Eastern Ukraine: the escalation (part 2)

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as Kiev evicts separatists

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • Deadly fire rips through Chile’s Valparaiso for third day running

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' to redeploy for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for NSA revelations

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Sport

Barcelona player Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or award

©

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by Allaoua MEZIANI

Latest update : 2009-12-02

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona FC, has received the Ballon d'Or 2009 award as the best Europe-based footballer of the year. The award was voted on by journalists from across the world.

Biography

Nationality: Argentine

Age: 22

Position: Forward

Club : Barcelona FC

Prize list 2009 :

- Super Cup (Barcelona FC)
- C1 title (Barcelona FC)
- Best scorer of the C1 with 9 goals (Barcelona FC)
- Spanish league title (Barcelona FC)
- Spanish Cup (Barcelona FC)

Season 2009-2010 :

- Qualified for the 2010 World Cup
- Champions League qualifying round

 

He’s not yet known as the “golden boy” like his fellow Argentine footballer, Diego Maradona. But Lionel Messi already has all of Maradona’s class. He’s got vision, instinct, tactical genius, and he has proved that he can handle pressure on the field. Argentina’s new national football hero is a golden boy whose magical left foot has elevated him to Ballon d’Or status.

 

The Ballon d’Or, sometimes referred to as the European Footballer of the Year, is an annual award presented to the best Europe-based footballer. The award was conceived in the 1950s by the then editor of “France Football,” a French bi-weekly magazine.

 

This year, the members of the “France Football” jury, sport journalists from across the world, voted for the Barcelona player, making Messi the first Argentine to receive the award. At 22, he has proved to be one of the most gifted players of his generation. He succeeds other legendary footballers, such as 25-year-old Brazilian player Kaka in 2007 and 23-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.

 

Overcoming a growth deficiency hormone

 

Born in Rosario, in the Santa Fe region of northern Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11, but his talent was spotted by a national football club owner. Messi’s rise to prominence is deeply linked to Barcelona FC. After a test in July 2000, the club immediately brought him to Europe and paid the medical bills for the treatment of his condition. Messi was quickly noticed at the “Masia”, the club’s training centre, and he ended up playing his first professional game aged just 17.

 

He helped revive Barcelona FC, leading his team to a series of resounding victories at home and abroad. His goal against Manchester United in the Champions League final still echoes across Europe. Fans have witnessed the meteoric rise and consecration of Messi, who was crowned best scorer of the Champions League with 9 goals (23 in the Spanish Liga in the last season).

 

Barcelona FC has taken the Spanish Liga by storm, crushing its arch-rival Real Madrid 6-2 in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with Messi scoring twice. Besides the Liga title, the Catalan club has also won the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.

 

Messi is now set to display his talents on the World Cup stage in South Africa next summer and, hopefully, join Maradona in the pantheon of football gods.

 


Date created : 2009-12-01

  • FOOTBALL

    Barcelona defeat Real Madrid in Spanish 'Clasico'

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Ireland ask to be 33rd World Cup team

    Read more

  • PREMIER LEAGUE

    Drogba double gives Chelsea emphatic victory over Arsenal

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)