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Rediff.com  » Sports » Messi, Mourinho spoil Spanish party at FIFA Ballon D'Or

Messi, Mourinho spoil Spanish party at FIFA Ballon D'Or

Last updated on: January 11, 2011 10:57 IST

Messi surprising winner of Ballon D'Or

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Argentina's Lionel Messi won the World Player of the Year for the second time in a row on Monday and Jose Mourinho walked off with the coach's award, leaving Spain's World Cup winners disappointed.

Messi surprisingly held off Barcelona team mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi, second and third respectively, to win the newly-created FIFA Ballon D'Or, a fusion of the previously separate annual awards handed out by FIFA and France Football magazine.


Image: Lionel Messi gives a speech after receiving his trophy
Photographs: Reuters
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'This is a historic trophy for me and Portuguese football'

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Mourinho, now with Real Madrid, won the inaugural Coach of the Year award after leading Inter Milan to a Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup treble.

The honour went to the self-styled Special One, who described himself afterwards as "proudly Portuguese", at the expense of Spain's World Cup-winning coach Vicente del Bosque, second, and Barcelona's Pep Guardiola, third.

"The most important trophies for me are the collective ones, not the individual ones but this is a historic trophy for me and Portuguese football," Mourinho told reporters after edging Del Bosque with 35.92 percent of the votes against 33.08.


Image: Jose Mourinho at the awards ceremony

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'I'd like to share this with my team mates and all Argentines'

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Iniesta and Xavi had been favourites after helping Spain win last year's World Cup while Messi had failed to score a goal or produce his best form at the tournament in South Africa.

"It was just good to be here with my team mates," said Messi, who looked as surprised as anyone by the result which was announced by Barcelona coach Guardiola.

"I'd like to share this with my team mates, without whom I would not be here, and...with all the Argentines."

Messi won surprisingly easily, polling 22.65 percent of the votes to Iniesta's 17.36 and Xavi's 16.48.


Image: Lionel Messi

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Six Spain players in World Team of the Year

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It was the first time the award had been made since the decision to unite FIFA's World Player of the Year award with France Football magazine's older Ballon D'Or.

Messi won both awards last season. The only Spanish winner of either prize was Luis Suarez who won the Ballon D'Or in 1960.

Spain's only consolation was that they had six players in the world team of the year, Iniesta and Xavi joined by Iker Casillas, David Villa, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique.

Brazilians Lucio and Maicon, Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi completed the line-up.


Image: FIFA FIFPro World XI award 2010 winners at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony

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Brazil's Martha is women's Player of the Year

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Votes were for the players and coaches awards were cast by the coaches and captains of national teams and by selected journalists while 50,000 professional players took part in the poll for the world eleven.

Messi produced some scintillating performances for Barcelona last year, but failed to inspire Argentina who were knocked out in the quarter-finals in South Africa.

Brazil's Martha was named women's Player of the Year for the fifth time in a row.


Image: Marta of Brazil, FIFA Women's World Player 2010 holds the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010 trophy

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Altintop wins for FIFA goal of the year

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A host of other awards were handed out by FIFA with South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu and the Haitian women's under-17 team among other winners.

The 79-year-old Tutu, who used his church pulpit as a platform to help bring down apartheid, took the FIFA Presidential Award.

The Haitian team were given the Fair Play award for taking part in the CONCACAF under-17 women's championship in Costa Rica two months after the huge earthquake which devastated their country at the start of last year.

FIFA's goal of the year award went to Turkey's Hamit Altintop for a spectacular volley against Kazakhstan.


Image: Hamit Altintop (left) of Turkey receives the FIFA Puska Award 2010 from goalkeeper Andrei Sidelnikov of Kazakhstan during the FIFA Ballon D'Or ceremony

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