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Lionel Messi named Fifa's World Player of the Year

Lionel Messi accepts his World Player of the Year award from Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Lionel Messi named Fifa's World Player of the Year
Lionel Messi has been named the Fifa Fifpro World Player of the Year. The Argentina and Barcelona forward won the accolade for the first time for helping his club win an unprecedented six trophies, including the Champions League and the domestic league title.
The 22-year-old beat last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo, his two club mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi, and Brazil midfielder Kaka. He was presented with the trophy at an awards ceremony in Zurich.
Messi said: "I'm extremely happy. We've just ended a historic year, a perfect year in which we've won every competition we've played in. We just needed to take this last step and everything has worked out how we wanted. It's amazing."
Brazil's Marta was the recipient of the women's award for the fourth consecutive year. England's Kelly Smith, who left Arsenal to play in the new Women's Professional Soccer league for Boston Breakers earlier this year, was named amongst the top five. Smith said: "This is a real honour for me. It was tough for me to leave my home country because I'm very proud and passionate to be English. I just wanted to be amongst the best players in the world and that's certainly the case and I'm now pursuing my dream."
Two England players made it into Fifa's World XI, along with three other Premier League players. The England and Chelsea captain John Terry and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard were among the players named tonight in the Fifa World XI. Manchester United defenders Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres also made the team
The XI, voted for by members of the international professional footballers' union FIFPro, were: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).
Terry said: "There is no higher accolade than to be voted for by your fellow professionals so we are all very proud."
Ronaldo won the Fifa Puskas award for the best goal of the 2008/09 season for his long-range effort for Manchester United against Porto in the Champions League in April.
The Fifa Fair Play Award was given posthumously to Sir Bobby Robson for his "outstanding commitment to the values of fair play throughout his career". The award was collected by his widow Elsie.

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