Friday, December 4, 2009

Ballon d'Or: Messi the number one

lionel messi barcelona

The European correspondents of France Football have voted Leo Messi the best player of 2009 with 473 votes. He’s the first Argentinean to receive the award.

Anybody who has seen him in action already knew – but now it’s official. According to the December edition of France Football, Leo Messi is the best player in the world.

473 votes

QM3D7019.jpgMessi came top of the vote by a clear margin. He received 473 votes, well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (233 votes) and Xavi (170 votes). He is the ninth Barça player to take the award and the first since Ronaldinho in 2005.

Since the French magazine opened up the award to cover all domestic leagues three years ago, no player has recieved such an overwhelming majority of the votes as Leo Messi. The Argentine has become the first player from the Barça youth system to win the coverted prize. In 2007 Kaká won with a total of 444 votes and last year Cristiano Ronaldo did so with a total of 446.

Third in 2007, second in 2008

He has made steady progress, finishing third in 2007 behind Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo and then second in 2008 behind Cristiano. And now he has taken that final step to finish first in 2009.

The first Argentinean

2009-12-01_MESSI_PORTADA_FRANCE_FOOTBALL_003.JPGIt’s hard to believe but Leo Messi is the first Argentinean player to lift the Ballon d'Or. However, until 1995 the award was only open to European players, which excluded players of the stature of Diego Maradona.