Monday, January 10, 2011

Lionel Messi Wins 2011 Ballon D'Or

Choosing the winner of the 2011 Ballon D'Or seemed like a tough decision to make. Three Barcelona geniuses, all with a chance to be crowned as the best player of the world. Iniesta and Xavi had just triumphed in the World Cup with Spain, but Messi was part of an amazing season for Barcelona, scoring 43 goals in 57 matches. Xavi Hernandez seemed like the favorite because of his long and underrated career as a true midfield maestro, but Andres Iniesta had scored the goal in the World Cup final, making Spain the world champions for the first time in the nation's history.
The trio of nominees, from left to right, Xavi, Messi, and Iniesta

While all this speculation was amassed, it seemed unlikely that Lionel Messi would win the Ballon D'Or for the second year in a row. But the Argentine won the award with his loveable humility on display for everyone,
I’m happy, but I didn’t expect it because everyone had been talking so much about Xavi and Andres [Iniesta]. They also deserved it for the wonderful year they had. They won the World Cup, which usually goes a long way to deciding who wins this award, and they both had big parts to play in that. That’s why I thought one of them would be going up to collect the trophy. It was a wonderful surprise.
It really is fantastic seeing such a fantastic player with so much humility. Yet I feel that if there was a year where Xavi or Iniesta would've won the award, it would've been this one. As for the Soccer Wrap Up poll which all you readers voted in, it was Lionel Messi who got more than 55% of your votes. Xavi came in second place with about 25% and Iniesta came last with 17%. Thank you for voting!

Jose Mourinho, winner of the Coach of the Year award of 2011
But there was more than one award given out at the FIFA gala. Marta won female player of the year for the fifth time running, and it was Jose Mourinho who won the Coach of the Year award. I really think that the Coach of the Year award winner is spot on, Jose Mourinho truly deserves the award after his historic season at Inter Milan. While of course Vicente Del Bosque won the World Cup, and Josep Guardiola won another La Liga title with Barcelona, the two Spaniards had much more talent to work with, and they ultimately achieved less.

What are your thoughts on Messi winning the award? Many say that this was to be Xavi's year of recognition, do you agree? And do you think Jose Mourinho truly deserves the coach of the year award? Share your comments below!

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