- Ballon d'Or - football - Lionel Messi
Spaniards snubbed as Messi wins Ballon d'Or award
Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or, which rewards the best football player of the year. Messi defeated Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi Fernandez, who were favoured to take the coveted award.
AFP - Argentinian Lionel Messi won the Ballon D'Or for the second successive year here on Monday beating his more favoured Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
The 23-year-old - the first player to win back-to-back awards since Marco van Basten in 1988/89 - had been seen as the outsider after a modest World Cup where he failed to score and Argentina went out in the quarter-finals.
Iniesta and Xavi both had outstanding World Cups with the former scoring the only goal in the 1-0 World Cup final victory over Holland.
This latest edition of the Ballon d'Or saw major changes to the way the title is nominated.
Set up in 1956 by France Football magazine the Ballon d'Or merged with FIFA's world player of the year award for the first time.
The voting committee, up to now made up of only journalists, now includes all the managers and captains of the 208 national sides affiliated to FIFA.