Lionel Messi Wins FIFA World Player Award 2009 video

FIFA World Player 2009 - Argentina and Barecelona star 22-year-old striker Lionel Messi was named FIFA's world player of the year
Lionel Messi became the first Argentine to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award on Monday.

The 22-year-old forward, who also landed the European Footballer of the Year prize earlier this month, picked up the accolade after collecting four major titles with Barcelona -- the Champions League, the Club World Cup, La Liga and the King's Cup.

"This finishes a magnificent year for Barcelona, my team mates and for me," said Messi after receiving the trophy from UEFA president and former France international Michel Platini.

The Argentine, who joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000, claimed 1,073 points in a poll of 147 national team coaches and captains.

Portugal and Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo, last year's winner, was a distant second with 352 points followed by Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi (196).

Messi was leading scorer in the 2008-09 Champions League, hitting nine goals including one in the 2-0 final win over Manchester United.

The FIFA World Player of the Year is an association football award given annually to the male and female player who are thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams. In a voting system based on positional voting, each coach gets three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the winners are ordered based on total number of points. The male award has been criticized for focusing mainly on players from the UEFA Champions League and largely ignoring players from the South American Copa Libertadores, which has produced more world club champions than Europe. The international leagues of the remaining confederations are also completely ignored.The award started in 1991 for men and 2001 for women.

FIFA World Player Award 2009 video

Soccer player Marta, left, from Brazil and Lionel Messi, right, from Argentina pose with their trophies after both were named FIFA World Player of the Year during the FIFA World Player Gala 2009 at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009.

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