Saturday 3 December 2016

Messi lands Ballon d'or

Published 11/01/2011 | 05:00

Lionel Messi and Marta hold their FIFA Ballon d'Or trophies during last night's ceremony in Zurich. Photo: Getty Images
Lionel Messi and Marta hold their FIFA Ballon d'Or trophies during last night's ceremony in Zurich. Photo: Getty Images

LIONEL MESSI was last night named World Player of the Year, surprisingly beating his Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi, who helped Spain win the World Cup last year, for the gong.

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With FIFA's World Player of the Year and France Football older Ballon D'Or now merged -- Messi won both awards last season -- votes were cast by the coaches and captains of national teams and by selected journalists.

There was disappointment for Glentoran's Matty Burrows in the Goal of the Year prize, with his jaw-dropping backheeled volley against Portadown losing out to Hamit Altintop's relatively mundane volley for Turkey against Kazakhstan.

Jose Mourinho was named Coach of the Year, while tearful Brazil superstar Marta won a record fifth successive Women's Player of the Year award.

Irish Independent

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