Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Mali: Jihadist group announces death of french hostage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tutu cautions ANC: South African peace laureate criticizes ruling party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clamping down on jihad propaganda online

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • Russia vows to respond if 'attacked' in Ukraine

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    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)