BBC BLOGS - Phil Minshull
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Did the wrong man win the Ballon d'Or?

Post categories:

Phil Minshull | 12:03 UK time, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

With Barcelona players having a stranglehold on the final three-man shortlist for the new-look Fifa Ballon d'Or, there was saturation coverage in Spain of Monday's gala in Zurich.

Six television stations across Spain, as well as many internet sites, showed the event live but commentators, almost to a man and woman, were surprised when Lionel Messi was announced as the winner

In a close contest, Messí got 22.65% of the votes from the captains, coaches and journalists from Fifa's national federations, while Andres Iniesta finished second with 17.36% and Xavi Hernandez got 16.48%.

Even Messi himself, looking just ever so slightly uncomfortable in his Dolce & Gabbana suit, seemed rather embarrassed at the outcome.

Never the most verbose of individuals, he was almost lost for words at the presentation.concerned.

Messi receives his awardMessi receives his award. Photo: Getty Images

"I'm happy but I didn't expect it because everyone had been talking so much about Xavi and Andres," said Messi later, after collecting his thoughts. "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."

There had been the widespread assumption - very wrong as it turned out - that either Iniesta or Xavi would become the first Spanish-born winner of football's top individual prize since Luis Suarez won the old-style Ballon D'Or in 1960.

"Iniesta is the favourite," predicted the Barcelona-based sports daily El Mundo Deportivo on its front page on Monday. The rest of the Spanish media generally agreed, although public sentiment seemed to go with Xavi. A recent poll in the respected magazine Don Balon said 62% of the public thought Xavi should take the prize. Other polls last weekend broadly concurred.

Not surprisingly, there was more than a modicum of outrage at the result on Tuesday morning, with Spanish sports newspaper Marca proclaiming Messi as "an unjust winner", although anger was not levelled at the player himself.

The Argentine's fantastic skills and 34 goals, which gave him the European Golden Boot last season, would make him a worthy winner in most other years. However, many in Spain and elsewhere feel he was the least likely of the Barca trio to win this time around.

Spain captain Iker Casillas, who was also at the gala after being included in Fifa's Team of the Year, added his two-centimos worth and backed his compatriots, grumbling that the outcome was "a bit disappointing for Spaniards".

It was not only in Spain where there was an adverse reaction to the result. Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport made its feelings clear with its front page headline on Tuesday: "Messi? Nooo!"

Spaniards may feel hard done by but the more staid mainstream El Pais newspaper broadened the debate into one of national introspection. "Spain just doesn't carry any weight in polls," ran the headline, followed by a rather self-pitying editorial that contained the line: "Perhaps we should ask why Spain has lost all the global sports polls: the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2018 World Cup, the 2010 Ballon D'Or."

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the result, Messi is the first player since Hristo Stoichkov in 1994 to take the Ballon d'Or without being on the winning team at the World Cup in the same year (Brazil's Romario won the Fifa World Player of the Year in 1994).

You could also argue it was the first genuine surprise choice in recent years, possibly since Michael Owen took the Ballon D'Or in 2001, the year Luis Figo won the Fifa version of the trophy.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

At least there was nothing like as much controversy over the Coach of the Year award, even though Spain missed out again. Few pundits begrudged Jose Mourinho his honour after achieving an unprecedented treble with Inter Milan, winning the domestic league and cup double on top of the Champions League.

It in no way diminishes the achievements of Vicente Del Bosque but it was broadly accepted the Spain coach took over an already established and outstanding group of players when he succeeded Luis Aragones in 2008 in the wake of the Euro 2008 triumph.

With Messi winning for the second year - it has to be said that there are few who would disagree that he was a worthy winner 12 months ago - it once again opens up the debate about how the award is decided.

Even though the three men on the shortlist have performed outstandingly, there are many people, including myself, who were surprised that Netherlands and Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder was not among the final trio.

It is probably the least of Fifa's worries right now, given the fallout from the decisions to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter surely cannot be happy that many people have again been left feeling that football's world governing body falls short where credibility is concerned.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:17pm on 11 Jan 2011, keepitclean wrote:

    Some may begrudge Messi's win but he is probably still the most important to Barcelona. His skills make him the most dangerous, he's the one who can change the game almost single-handedly. His displays in the second half of 2010 have been sensational. Ok, he couldn't bring World Cup success to Argentina but Spain have much more strength in their side as a whole so that helped give success Xavi and Iniesta. It's a close call for the Ballon D'or but I think Messi still deserves it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:19pm on 11 Jan 2011, In Off The Ghost wrote:

    I would have gone with Xavi or Sneijder myself. I can't believe Wes wasn't in the final three. Messi had been fantastic domestically, but Xavi and Sneijder both performed as well (and in Sneijder's case more successfully) as well as out performing Messi in the world cup. Messi is a phenomenal player, but I feel he wasn't the most deserving this time round. However, it's goals that get the headlines.

    http://www.inofftheghost.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:21pm on 11 Jan 2011, Friday yodel wrote:

    It is unusual to read the words "Fifa" and "credibility" in the same sentence, particularly when the words "lack of" have been omitted.

    The award is surprising considering by his own impeccable standards Messi had a less than inspirational World Cup. Iniesta would have got my vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:25pm on 11 Jan 2011, nice_mini_cooper_bro wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 1:25pm on 11 Jan 2011, gef05 wrote:

    "Spain captain Iker Casillas, who was also at the gala after being included in Fifa's Team of the Year, added his two-centimos worth and backed his compatriots, grumbling that the outcome was "a bit disappointing for Spaniards".

    Phil - Nice way to create your theme. But let's be honest, if we remove the most emotive word in there - grumbling, which is your word, not his - then we are left with a simple soundbite that anyone would expect from the man.

    How about just sticking to the facts?

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, Nyron Nosworthy wrote:

    Of course Messi deserved it. Just because Spain won the world cup doesn't mean the trophy should go to a Spaniard. Messi, was comfortably the best player in the world last year and arguably the best player in the world cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, 70667 wrote:

    Given the chance, I certainly would have voted for Messi. I however thought Xavi or Iniesta would take it this year because of the euphoria the World Cup always generates. No disrespect to Xavi and Iniesta because they too would be worthy winners on another day and against another player other than Messi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 1:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, alihoggsuperstar wrote:

    The two Spaniards probably split the vote, imagine if it was Xavi or Iniesta in the final three rather than both then one of them would have won it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 1:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, DutchGeezer wrote:

    Messi is a good player - no doubt.

    But no World Champion (nowhere near finalist for that matter) nor goals in the WC, no Champions League winner (or again finalist).

    For me it would have been a close call between Sneijder and Xavi - Sneijder has won the lot besides WC (although scoring well there and a finalist), yet a bit underperforming since the WC.

    Xavi is indeed WC winner(and imo way more influentual than Iniesta overall) and plays good football even after the WC - then again: same results as Messi on European club level.

    Sneijder it is then - if we would have chosen Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo should have been on that stage as well: brilliant player, not enough prizes...

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 1:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, OurBloodIsRedThatsYWeRRedDevils wrote:

    The wrong man definitely, but if you ask me then none of the three deserved it more than Wesley Sneijder who didn't even make the final three !!.

    The man won the treble with his team Inter Milan followed by the Club World Cup and was an integral part of the team in each of these competitions, not to mention reaching the WC final knocking out Brazil in the process almost single handedly, he also finished the competition as joint top scorer.

    Sneijder actually proved that, unlike Messi, he is able to perform in any decent side by being an integral part of both Inter and the Netherlands.

    Apart from the real winner who as I said I believe should've been Sneijder, another player who deserves to be in the top 3 is Robben who was also a WC finalist and again was an integral part of club and country while just missing out on the treble .

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 1:29pm on 11 Jan 2011, The United Way wrote:

    He is the best player in the world.

    However, Sneijder deserved the awards for the importance of his performances, his consistency including the big WC games, and his general excellent play.

    Travesty, but I will not begrudge Messi. They just wanted the one who would give them the most money.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 1:31pm on 11 Jan 2011, Bazil wrote:

    I'm with FIFA on this one. Deserved as the Spanish victory was, Spain actually had a pretty dull world cup. They struggled to unlock every defence they came across, which is surely the job of Iniesta and Xavi.

    If anything, I think the world cup showed how far ahead of the pack Messi is, despite his lack of goals

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 1:31pm on 11 Jan 2011, TempestInAFlatHat wrote:

    Well, these things are always biased towards the goalscorers. No change here, then, and at least giving it to Messi isn't absurdly wrong, just a little bit unreasonable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 1:31pm on 11 Jan 2011, Cape_Gooner wrote:

    What you have to remember is this is voted for by, as well as journalists, captains and coaches so it becomes a vote for the player they'd most want in their team.

    In that respect can anyone argue Messi didn't deserve to win? I think not.

    Given the choice I don't think there's a single football player/fan in the world who would take Xavi or Iniesta over Messi in their team.

    Congratulations to Leo, the deserved winner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 1:32pm on 11 Jan 2011, Crumbs wrote:

    It's a shame when someone like Xavi or Iniesta will seemingly never be recognised for their talent by their peers.

    Messi has been sensational for as long as I can remember, but in the year when Barcelona dominated, it wasn't all down to Messi. If you removed Xavi and Iniesta, I guarantee you he would have scored half of his goals. Internationally? Spain destroyed the World Cup and have the pair to thank for that.

    That recognition should be instant, but unfortunately, it really is the goals that decide popularity.

    Because Messi is such a unique player in recent years, I'm sure theres a general feeling that people want him to get the award at least 3 times in a row, if not 4. That wouldn't be all bad as he would eclipse Platini's hat-trick of wins.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 1:33pm on 11 Jan 2011, theyoungun wrote:

    Simple answer Phil - yes!

    But saying that, to pick between Xavi and Iniesta would be difficult

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 1:34pm on 11 Jan 2011, SirDion wrote:

    of course he deserves it, he has been peerless over the last 12 months and his performances have been consistently of the highest standards. Messi is probably a victim of this as people seem to think he had a 'bad' world cup(?)

    Also if this was a world player of the summer award then yes I would probably give it to Xavi or Iniesta, but it's not! it's a 12 month judgement call.

    I agree that in a world cup year, a WC medal should carry extra weighting but Ronaldo winning it in 2002 after missing 2 thirds of the season and only playing 16 games for club and 7 games for country in a year was a joke. This award should encapuslate everything that was done in a year ignoring sentiments like 'it's Xavi's last opportunity to win it, give it to him' or 'Iniesta scored the WC winning goal, he should get it' - and on balance you can see why Messi easily won this again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 1:34pm on 11 Jan 2011, ManUtdsince1987 wrote:

    Never mind the Ballon d'Or, the Puskas award went to the wrong person as well. Matty Burrow's goal was a one-off, something that I can't remember ever being done before, and that will probably never be done again. Altintop's goal was special, but goals of that nature have been done before. Burrow's was un-done by his lack of worldwide fame, he was robbed. Back to the main topic, I think Sneijder should have won, but Messi certainly had an outstanding year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 1:36pm on 11 Jan 2011, Cape_Gooner wrote:

    Well, these things are always biased towards the goalscorers.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    Cannavaro, Zidane, Kaka?

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 1:37pm on 11 Jan 2011, Guya wrote:

    Iniesta all the way. It was his year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 1:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, theleodensian wrote:

    In my opinion Messi is the best player in the world and the decision is correct. Xavi and Iniesta are both fantastic and will go down as two of the best players to ever have played the game but I feel Messi is slightly above them, the fact is goals win games...and he scores a lot of gaols and Barca win a lot of games. He creates many for himself with his skill and moves defenders around, taking them out of the game for other players to flourish. Not only that, he comes across as a decent fella who just loves the game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 1:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, keepitclean wrote:

    @18 >>Burrow's was un-done by his lack of worldwide fame, he was robbed.

    I'm not sure that's fair. I don't think Altıntop is very famous either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 1:40pm on 11 Jan 2011, Richard wrote:

    #6 Nyron Nosworthy(!) - "Messi was the best player in the world last year and arguably the best player in the world cup". No arguments with the first bit of this, but the second bit...are you saying he was the best player at the world cup (i.e. effectively just repeating the first bit) or that he was the outstanding player of the world cup (i.e. taking the tournament in isolation). If the latter, you are way off the mark. He didn't show much at all at the tournament.

    Overall I have no real issues with the decision. Messi is simply awesome.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 1:43pm on 11 Jan 2011, arnie_99 wrote:

    I've heard a lot from commentators on Spanish football that Ronaldo has probably done more than Messi over the last year, if you give consideration to individual influences, and the fact that Messi has had a lot more teammates firing alongside him. Granted, Ronaldo had a poor WC, but Messi wasn't exactly great either...

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 1:44pm on 11 Jan 2011, Tsivoman wrote:

    It is important to remember/recognise that this is an individiual award and as such should be rewarded to the outstanding individual player, in which case Messi deserves it more than any other player including Schneider. Yes, Inter won a treble but it wasn't because Scheider displayed skills/ability beyond any other player but because of a good manager experienced defenders and prolific scoring exploits by both E'to and Millito. Nobody sane enough can argue that man-for-man, Messi is the best player in the world and has been for the past2/3yrs. It's not his fault that Argentina was caoched by an incompetent Maradona in the 2010 SWC.
    By the way, FIFA did not vote for Messi, he was voted by national team captains, national team coaches and journalists, which goes to show that despite what Scheinder won with Inter or Xavi & Aniesta won with Spain, when you look at an individual performance and stats, Messi is the undisputed champion.
    Most people that are against Messi winning the award are people that believe that a one month tournament should overshadow the rest of the year. Look at the stats and tell me if any other player comes near Messi in terms of goals scored and assists for the year in question.
    I rest my case.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 1:46pm on 11 Jan 2011, magicDarkshadow wrote:

    Messi is a worthy winner. But I think that Xavi and Iniesta deserved it more. Which ironically could be why they didn't win it. I would say that the two men split the vote. I think a lot of those people who voted for Xavi may have consider voting Iniesta and vice versa, hence splitting the vote.

    But congrats to Messi and commiserations to Xavi and Iniesta.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 1:47pm on 11 Jan 2011, Amanbro wrote:

    The British public seem to think this award is for the most successful player of the year. The FIFA version of the award is based on the judgment of coaches. Let's face it, if a coach is given the choice of having any player in his team then Messi would be the first name on the team sheet.

    The Ballon D'or on the other hand is based on the judgment of journalists who (I imagine) would have gone for Xavi (or maybe Sneijder is he was on the shortlist). Iniesta would have garnered similar interest in both awards.

    Personally, I fully agree with Messi winning the award. He is so much better than anyone else (including the last 12 months). When people look back in history they would want to know who the best player in the world was (not who had a good year). He fully deserves it.

    I feel silly arguing with people who are set in their ways and too stubborn to change but I hope somebody may see sense from my comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 1:47pm on 11 Jan 2011, TheNobleOne wrote:

    Why are Fifa getting stick for this? (Can't quite believe I'm writing this!) It's voted for by captains, coaches and the media. Can't disagree with the decision. Performance wise over the whole season, who would you rather have in your team.... Messi!

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 1:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, Better_than_kaka wrote:

    Messi's not a bad player don't get me wrong. But he doesn't come close to Eboue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 1:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, Demoremda_AJAX wrote:

    for me xavi should have won it, but i can live with messi as winner

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 1:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, Cardoso wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 1:51pm on 11 Jan 2011, jimmyel wrote:

    fairly obvious messi should not have won it - yes he scored a bundle of brilliant goals v appalling defences but it was iniesta's absence that cost barca the champions league...don't think he featured v inter when messi was anonymous as he was v chelsea in the previous season when iniesta also rescued barca.

    and of course, iniesta scored the winner in the WC Final and was generally superb for Spain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 1:55pm on 11 Jan 2011, Skywalker wrote:

    The arrogance of this article beggers belief!
    So all coaches, players and footballers got it all wrong, did they?
    The best player in the world got his just reward - coaches, players and fellow football players said so - simple really!

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 1:56pm on 11 Jan 2011, Mikey wrote:

    The tone of this article is all wrong. I accept that what your saying is based on the media reaction(predominantly from a hyper-sensitive Spanish media with their perennial inferiority complex) but did you actually watch Barcelona in 2010?! Messi was sublime. All year. Better than he was in 2009. The only reason this wasn't a shoe-in for him was that Xavi and Iniesta have also been outstanding... and won the World Cup.

    I love all three players, the best 3 guys made the shortlist and it said a lot about how Barcelona are playing at the moment, but (the World Cup aside) the best player out of the three this year has been Messi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 1:59pm on 11 Jan 2011, Mouseldinho wrote:

    I thought the Balon D'Or celebrated the best player in the world?

    Based on the evidence of 2010 performances, Messi was by far the best player. He got what he deserved. Xavi and Inesta are both wonderful footballers and their achievements were rewarded by being in the team of the year which I think is enough. They were both part of a much stronger national team (team being the important word there). Messi won games on his own for fun all year and the individual honour has rightfully gone to him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 2:00pm on 11 Jan 2011, OranjeRotterdam wrote:

    Messi is probably the most gifted player in the current game but the Ballon D'Or always used to be about the most successful player in a past season.

    And even though a World Cup win can't be bettered, in my view Sneijder should have won. The most influential player last season, winning the treble (quadruple including the Club World Cup), joint top scorer during the Worldcup and making it into the final.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 2:00pm on 11 Jan 2011, sharrison01 wrote:

    Maybe Casillas should look to the Spanish fans' behaviour in recent years as to why they are not awarded the honour of hosting any major sporting events. I vaguely remember the racism in England on terraces in the 80's but have never been so disgusted as I was to hear the chants aimed at English players when we played football against them in Spain or the banners and attire that welcomed Lewis Hamilton at the F1.

    In my opinion, they are lucky to only be overlooked for hosting such prestigious sporting events as in a just and fair world they would not be able to participate. English teams got banned in the 80's from European competitions for hooliganism but material items damaged by fans can be repaired and replaced - to tolerate such a primitive and ignorant attitude towards people of a different colour and take such little action begs the question how any of these players were allowed to display their talents on such a global stage.

    And for the record, Schneider should have won - it's not hard for someone to perform at Barcelona or in Spain but Italian football is at a low point with their recent exploits and The Netherlands are hardly brimming with talent. Without him, Inter would not have won the CL and The Netherlands would not have got to the final of the WC - the same cannot be said of Messi, Xavi or Iniesta.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 2:03pm on 11 Jan 2011, TempestInAFlatHat wrote:

    DutchGeezer,

    If Messi's lack of World Cup and European success last year counts against him - and it surely should - why would Ronaldo be a wise choice? Inconsistent for his country during the past twelve months, and Real were knocked out in the second round of the European Cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 2:04pm on 11 Jan 2011, TempestInAFlatHat wrote:

    Cape_Gooner,

    Okay, Cannavaro is a rare exception. But - and my memory may be playing tricks on me here - I'm quite sure neither Zidane nor Kaka have ever been clumping defensive midfielders or withdrawn fullbacks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 2:05pm on 11 Jan 2011, GreekRooneyGod7 wrote:

    I don't really see what the problem is. Surely it's an award for the best player in the world, not the player that had the most successful year as such. The best player in the world won the award. Simples

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 2:09pm on 11 Jan 2011, TomF wrote:

    I think Messi is a worthy winner and as pointed out the vote was so close there is not a lot in it so it can hardly be said that there has been a miscarriage of justice. Messi is the player I enjoy watching the most, the things he can do with a football are beyond anyone else I have seen at the moment which makes him a valid winner.
    www.feeling-football.blogspot.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 2:10pm on 11 Jan 2011, Danisto wrote:

    Messi is a fantastic player, there is no doubting that. Everything he has achieved has been through his achievements at Barcelona, besides being the apple of his U/20 Argentina team a few years back, he has done nothing that stands out in Argentina colours. Put it this way, how well would he do in an Argentina team if Xavi and Iniesta were in that team. Then again it could be as simple as Guardiola knowing where on the field this genius should play. I recall a commentator saying something along the lines of - "Argentina's midfield just does not provide the kind of ball that Messi is used to at Barcelona".

    Its also all good to say the voting was done by the professional people within the game, fellow players etc, yet I feel that the commercial power that Leo Messi has globally has contributed massively to the first name for many to vote for, lets face it - one hears of the brilliance of Messi more than any other player on the planet, if the majority is saying Messi is Maradona's second coming then how could half the population be wrong.

    I just feel Xavi, Iniesta and even Sniejder have contributed more to both teams, showing their adaptability in playing with different team mates and styles. Scoring 32 goals is one thing, having some one pulling the strings to create the goals for you to score is another.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 2:11pm on 11 Jan 2011, tomefccam wrote:

    The words "Xavi and Iniesta" will for me be synonymous with those who know little about football but know how fashionable it is to quote their names when talking about great players.

    These two are very good footballers, don't get me wrong. Iniesta scored a world cup final goal, that cannot be disputed.

    However, Ballon D'or. No chance. Both pass the ball extremely well, and interlink with forward players brilliantly, creating and exploiting pace. But neither is a match winning player. Neither score enough goals or provide enough assists, certainly not to the extraordinary extent of club mate Messi.

    Ballon D'or considers the year 2010. It considers Domestic, European and International competition. Messi was the best player in Domestic and European competition. Forlan or Muller were the best World Cup performers. When Barca trounced Arsenal at Camp Nou, it was Messi who shone. Xavi and Iniesta were nullified by some very simple but effective tactics by Thiago Motta against Internazionale.

    Messi had a disappointing World Cup. Xavi and Iniesta were a good midfield pairing, but does this mean Deschamps and Petit should have been in the running in 1998? Petit got a goal in the final don't forget, and Deschamps had played in 4 successive Champions League Finals.

    No for me Diego Forlan was your man. A brilliant domestic season in 2009/2010. Europa League winner and scorer in the final. Phenomenal World Cup were he was definately the star man, the man who dragged Uruguay through the rounds. You cannot argue that Xavi or Iniesta were the star of the Spain show - just a magnificent all round team performance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2011, witness2gr8ness wrote:

    Two questions:

    If Barcelona offered you the chance to take one of that trio on loan for an entire season free of charge who would you take?

    Do you think either of Xavi or Iniesta would swap their World Cup Winners medal for Messi's Ballon D'Or?

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 2:16pm on 11 Jan 2011, franksm1 wrote:

    i am spanish and a barca fan. i would love to see one of our players win the ballon d'or but i still think messi is head and shoulders above the rest right now and deserved the trophy. he had more shots on goal than anyone else in the world cup and was incredibly unlucky not to score. his performances for argentina were amazing but he came up against some inspired goalkeeping from the other teams. lets face it xavi and iniesta are still in the top 3 which is not bad for one country. If messi continues to play to this level on a regular basis and he seems to have the appetite then he will go down as one of the greatest ever alongside pele, maradona, and for me zidane. just get sky sports and watch him play in la liga. he is magic

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 2:20pm on 11 Jan 2011, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    How can you say opinions of thousands are wrong?
    It's not faction but opinion!

    For that reason alone, your article is not even worth reading!

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 2:23pm on 11 Jan 2011, wingcommanderthrush wrote:

    Messi did score 34 goals for Barca last season, winning La Liga and destroying Arsenal in europe before his team , not him alone, were given the Mourinho lesson.

    Why should he be judged on five matches in the world cup in a side badly managed by a man who was too gung ho in his tactics to win a World Cup?

    Why should one poster in theis thread say Messi didn't even win the Champions League - er, neither did Xavi or Iniesta then either!!!

    Messi is exciting, whereas Spain, Xavi or Iniesta and there world cup win were endlessly boring. Just because something makes Alan Hansen purr doesn't mean it's not as dull as dish water. The world cup is dying. Spains win won't have helped at all - the world cup needs someone to take it by the scruff of the neck like the afforementioned Maradona in 1986.

    This award is won for having a great season - not for having a good month playing for a team already european champions.

    I have no problem with winner - I do think Schneider should have been a contender though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 2:30pm on 11 Jan 2011, Football_UK wrote:

    I can't understand why people can say the wrong man won it. Messi is the best player in the world, by many a mile. Perhaps the player some wanted to win it hasn't. :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 2:36pm on 11 Jan 2011, U14334741 wrote:

    Sniejder had a better year than all 3. Best player in a treble winning team, best player in a side that reached a World Cup final (and join top scorer from midfield). He was brilliant in 2010, Messi had an average world cup by comparison and wasn't at his best at all in the ECL semi finals against Inter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 2:37pm on 11 Jan 2011, VicksyG wrote:

    In a world where the club I support could sign anyone, Messi would be the player I would most like them to sign.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 2:40pm on 11 Jan 2011, kaufman39 wrote:

    how can you possibly have the title 'did the wrong man win' alongside a picture of lionel messi with the trophy.

    in a great year for world class talent, any one of the three would have been a worthy winner - there could be any number of reasons for each to win.

    i personally feel bad for xavi - messi's one it once and will surely win it again,, nobody could begrudge xavi a victory for this one

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 2:41pm on 11 Jan 2011, U14357625 wrote:

    I'd have gone for Xavi but it's difficult to argue with Messi. As for the World Cup, his performances weren't as bad as some people try to suggest.

    http://footballfutbolfitba.wordpress.com/

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 2:42pm on 11 Jan 2011, trueblue13 wrote:

    I actually thought for the first time it could be shared by two players ... iniesta and xavi because of the world cup, but I will take Messi any day! Correct decision. Although Iniesta scored in the final, I think he missed a few games during the group stage with injury if I remember correctly. Besides, Messi has been on fire this season and has continued from where he left last season with Barca. I do agree with some of the posts, may be Schneider would have pipped Xavi! Just my two cent opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 2:42pm on 11 Jan 2011, ManUtdsince1987 wrote:

    @22 - I agree altintop isn't exactly a household name, but he is well known in both Germany and Turkey, and made a name for himself in Euro 2008 (I think), which gives him a much larger fan base than Burrows. When you consider the likes of Messi, C. Ronaldo and Mourinho are saying Burrow's goal was the best I think it is fair to say that playing in N. Ireland and not being well known is the main reason he didn't win an award voted for by fans from around the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 2:43pm on 11 Jan 2011, NouManor wrote:

    This award is as I understand an award for the best performer of 2010.

    Iniesta is a top player but not the best; he is however in the form of his life but has excellent support at national and club level. btw, he didn´t even register on the UK football radar until that Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge and even then for the wrong reasons.

    I would have gone with Xavi, such an influential player but I believe overlooked as he is not banging the goals in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 2:47pm on 11 Jan 2011, Aidan C wrote:

    What About Christiano Ronaldo? He was miles ahead of the rest for the Ballon d'Or in 2010??? Oh hang on a minute, im thinking of the oscars!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 2:48pm on 11 Jan 2011, RememberScarborough wrote:

    Messi's award just shows that football in general during 2010 was extremely un-memorable although the ways things are going we could look back on it with a certain fondness that wasn't felt at the time much like 80s pop music...

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 2:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, freddawlanen wrote:

    Obviously the best man didn't win, he wasn't even nominated ffs.

    Sneijder was easily the player of the year, how is it that FIFA didn't spot this, is it simply because they're a bunch of ____________ (Insert your own words, as we all know what they're really like)

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 2:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, Chris haruna wrote:

    sneijder was robbed,but messi is a worthy winner.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 2:53pm on 11 Jan 2011, balazsmaria wrote:

    the players' votes made the decision. in an old-fashioned style of voting (till 2009 that is) Sneijder would have won it. another FIFA change gone the wrong direction.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 2:56pm on 11 Jan 2011, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    Spain won the WC yes. Was it 1-0 in all the games? So Xavi's socalled excellent vision didn't open up opponent defences as often as some would like us to believe. Besides it was Fabregas that passed the final winner ball to Iniesta.
    Messi had more shots on target than any other player, but only bad luck prevented him from scoring.
    And why doesn't people mention Forlan. I belive Atletico won the Europa League and Urugay reached the semifinals of the WC. He was joint top scorer I believe. Why is he not mentioned?

    Just ask yourself this question! Choose 1 player of the 5 below that you would lik to play for your country or team:

    1 Messi
    2 Xavi
    3 Iniesta
    5 Sneider
    5 Forlan

    Choose 1 and there is your answer

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 2:57pm on 11 Jan 2011, england_canwinsomuch wrote:

    I think this is a good write-up, the only question I have been asking myself which I want answers to is :"can FIFA be trusted to do anything right?"

    Two important tests in two months: World cup hosting and now, Ballon d'Or.
    It is surprisingly surprising (sorry about my english there) that a winner is surprised to win an award and cannot hide it.

    Hmmmm.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 2:58pm on 11 Jan 2011, caesarspalace wrote:

    Just for the record, here's how the voting went;

    1st 2nd 3rd Total Points
    Messi 114 78 49 853
    Iniesta 80 77 43 674
    Xavi 89 51 36 634
    Sneijder 59 75 49 569
    Forlan 25 29 85 297

    A 1st vote gets 5 points, a 2nd 3 points and a 3rd is 1 point.

    Here's a break down of how the 1st's were distributed.

    Managers Captains Journo's

    Messi 51 45 18
    Iniesta 23 17 40
    Xavi 27 26 36
    Sneijder 9 15 35
    Forlan 6 7 12

    In conclusion it seems like the Journalists wanted one of the Iniesta, Xavi or Sneijder to win but overwhelming support by his peers and managers put Messi ahead.

    If only journalist's votes counted the top five would have been,

    Sneijder, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Forlan

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 3:01pm on 11 Jan 2011, ThumbsUp wrote:

    Whatever the rights and wrongs may be, how can Messi winning the award for the second time be " unjust". He is such a talented and wonderful team player.As an individual player, he is head and heels above anyone else.

    As for coach of the year, thank God they did not do as BBc did and give it to Colin Montgomerie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 3:01pm on 11 Jan 2011, Farradin wrote:

    Yes!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 3:06pm on 11 Jan 2011, toolpwn wrote:

    I think Lionel Messi is the best player in the world by quite a distance at the minute, but he isn't the most deserving of the award.

    I also agree with you, VERY surprised Sneijder wasn't in the final three. His achievements last year certainly outweigh those of Messi, even though Messi is probably the better player.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 3:07pm on 11 Jan 2011, thintse wrote:

    i think Xavi should be the one. He entered the ground with the vision to win. His divine pass is the one which stands out Barca & Spain from the rest.Messi is wonderful no doubt but this time I think Xavi or Iniasta were better & desrving recipent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 3:12pm on 11 Jan 2011, JoC wrote:

    I think the blog has proved these sort of awards are purely subjective. Did the wrong man win the Ballon d'Or..probably but who really cares? It's just another glory night out for the ever increasing number of celebrity courting footballers and be honest would either Xavi or Iniesta swap their World Cup winners medal for it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 3:12pm on 11 Jan 2011, Farradin wrote:

    Having the most skill and being the best player doesn't always mean that you have been the best player in any given year. There are others with relatively less skill who have made of an impact this given year and as such have won more trophies.

    Yet again FIFA proves it doesn't know what it's doing. There are players who have played their hearts out and may never get another chance to win it; but they give it to the poster boy just because he has more on the ball skills and scores more goals against questionable opposition, in a side that let's face it would be the greatest side in the world even without him!

    Sad day for Wesley Sneijder and Xavi who were both worthy winners or even Andres Iniesta who's one of the most unpredictable footballers I've yet seen.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 3:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, weezer316 wrote:

    I dont think you can say it was unjust, messi has been amazing all year, and personally think its well done, but Xavi or iniesta would have got it from me.

    Messi is nowhere near as effective in an Argentina shirt and thats because he is missing tom and jerry there. Both Xavi and iniesta totally dominate games by linking up the entire side, allowing messi to operate freely almost entirely in the final third. They are the bedrock of 2 teams that look unstoppable, not messi, and for that I would give it to one of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 3:16pm on 11 Jan 2011, peminat_sukan wrote:

    This Fifa Ballon d'Or award should also officially include the results of the magazine readers poll of World Soccer's 'Player of the Year Award' which Xavi won and the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) 'World Player of the Year' poll which Messi won.

    On this basis, then I do believe that Messi is the rightful and deserving overall winner of the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 3:20pm on 11 Jan 2011, jcb211 wrote:

    Robert Green was robbed, I tell you....

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 3:22pm on 11 Jan 2011, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    Darren Fletcher was robbed ::))))))))))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 3:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, shakeyjakey17 wrote:

    Despite a subdued world cup (phenomenal by Rooney's standards) Messi has had a pretty good year. Slightly surprised that neither of the Spanish maestros won the award, but then they are the Ant and Dec of Spanish football...you can't have one without the other, and it seems that with 16% and 17% the voters couldn't prise them apart. Messi a worthy winner though

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 3:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, Jamie wrote:

    Messi had an average world cup by comparison and wasn't at his best at all in the ECL semi finals against Inter.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, imagine a 5'7" player struggling against a 10 man defence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 3:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, strive26 wrote:

    I think it's better than Ryan Giggs or Tony winning the BBC sports personality of teh year. He is world class palyer and he deserves it. so get over it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 3:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, Edmund wrote:

    I’ve always thought that the winner of any individual award in football shouldn’t necessarily be a winner of a trophy. I thought Figo deserved it in 2000 instead of Zidane, I also thought Kahn deserved it more than Ronaldo in 2002. FIFA, from previous awards almost always gave it to the player who won something or won the most trophies but this time around they seem to have changed their mind, based on previous winners, I was a bit surprised Messi won it. Personally I would have given it to Xavi, but I don’t think Messi was a bad choice however Iniesta shouldn’t have been there. I would have included Sneijder rather than Iniesta. Iniesta was injured for a number of months in the year and took a number of matches for him to reach his best form. Scoring a goal in a WC final is a really important thing especially if it’s a winning goal but it should not be enough to put you in the top three when we have a player with Sneijder’s accomplishments around.

    Messi had a great year for his club but not so much for Argentina but there’s so much one person can do for his team.(esp. when Maradona is your coach) All this noise about performance in the World Cup are overstated. The teams that get to the final play a maximum of 7 games- just 7. Surely 7 games cannot be that vital. It can be argued that playing in the UCL is probably at a higer standard thn the WC. The award should be for the one who did his best in throughout the whole year. And based on that alone. I wont fuss over Messi winning it.


    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 3:29pm on 11 Jan 2011, osas wrote:

    FIFA ha once again shown its lack of transperency,messi world player thats laughable it could as well be forlan, fifa is a corrup entity and its end is very near

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 3:34pm on 11 Jan 2011, Calypso37 wrote:

    Xavi for me, I spread bet, he keeps the ball..and is great with it..simples

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 3:35pm on 11 Jan 2011, gallo wrote:

    Although Xavi and Iniesta would have been worthy winners,it is hardly unjust for Messi to once again be the top man,he is everything you want to see when watching football(he's even scoring free kicks now)and conducts himself the way a professional footballer should,his Barca team mates will not be shouting 'foul' because he's won it,12 months from now it will be the same result cause the wee guy is going to be the best EVER!time is on his side.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 3:35pm on 11 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Shame for Xavi the man behind the best club side and best national side in world. And the best ever Spanish midfielder perhaps in his world cup winning year. BUT, Messi is the best and was phenomenal again last year. He DID deserve it. The top 3 were correct in my opinion and hard to choose between. JUST amazing they all come from the same academy. Outstanding achievment and testemant to FC Barcelonas academy system.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 3:35pm on 11 Jan 2011, Pablo wrote:

    Can't we just congratulate the winner instead of overanalyzing the thing? Most managers and captains have watched the five players in question in WC, UCL, and domestic matches quite a few times, they have voted, Messi has won the award, and let's be honest, managers and footballers know more about football than us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 3:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, osas wrote:

    messis account should be checked for usual tranfer of money in the last 48 hours cause there is nothing fifa and its executive cannot sell, who know what we might find

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 3:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, Andy Tevez2 wrote:

    The vote was by players, coaches and journalists - one from each national team and nation.

    People voted for Snejder so him not being on the 'short list' is irrelevant since he could still garner votes. SO THE SHORT LIST IS IRRELEVANT serving only to help the ignorant or clueless pick.

    As for the euphoria for one of the others ... let's face it, the euphoria existed only amongst fans. If we let fans vote for the be Orst player then someobody from the NY Yankees will win it every year. Or you'll have a fiasco like last year in the Premier League where Ryan Giggs won best player even tho he played with 34 goal scorer Wayne Rooney while himself scoring 5 goals and 4 assists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 3:41pm on 11 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Sneijder no way deserved to be in top 3. His team and the Dark arts of Mourinho got to the final of the CL but he didn´t wow at any time and he didn´t control the midfield against Barca. Inter were lucky to get past Barca. Inter in no way were the best team in Europe last year. Just managed to get a result after aBarcas 16 hour bus ride in the ash storm and some ref decisions and parked the aeroplane in second leg. And The Netherlands in final of world cup were a disgrace to football. Can´t blame Iniesta for going down easily in second half when the ref in first half was letting straight red card thug challenges go unpunished.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 3:43pm on 11 Jan 2011, HenrikLarssonsDreadlocks wrote:

    bit of a joke that he won it to be honest, hes did nothing more than his usual an was totally annoynamous in the 2 games against Inter in the CL semis last year which once again showed him up to be a bottler when teams are organised. IMO Iniesta - 1st and Xavi - 2nd for everything theyve done an keep doing for Barca an without them, Spain would have never won the WC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 3:44pm on 11 Jan 2011, stillbrighter wrote:

    You don't judge this award based on three-seven matches in the world cup. It's based on a season. Messi deserved it, I'm a little embarrassed that football fans are kicking up so much fuss over this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 3:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, Virtuet wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 89. At 3:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, stillbrighter wrote:

    FIFA ha once again shown its lack of transperency,messi world player thats laughable it could as well be forlan, fifa is a corrup entity and its end is very near
    _____

    My point about judging players based on 5/6 games in the world cup rather than 50 or so over a whole season is proved right there.

    Half of this furore is being kicked up by nationalist, arrogant Spanish newspapers who can never accept that anything Spanish is anything other than the best. I've lived there, it drove me crazy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 3:52pm on 11 Jan 2011, stillbrighter wrote:

    That's bordering on libel, you'll be lucky if that comment isn't removed. You can't say that Messi's success is down to growth hormone treatment (which wasn't to give him more, it was to bring his levels up to what a normal child's should be, so, no, he didn't have an advantage). Why do non-sportsmen think that HGH or steroids are the magic pill? They're nothing without the genetics, natural ability, dedication, and hard work to go with them.

    Anyway, back to your comment, disgusting to be honest, I won't complain but I hope that more people than just me pull you up on it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 3:52pm on 11 Jan 2011, Gavelaa wrote:

    Messi is the best player in the world and was the best player in the world in 2010.

    So no, the wrong man didn't win the award.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 3:55pm on 11 Jan 2011, pembroke_scorpion wrote:

    Different argument I know, but where was Gareth Bale in the Team of the Year? Fifa had the cheek to put Maicon in. Must have missed him at the San Siro...

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 3:55pm on 11 Jan 2011, jsfain wrote:

    Looks like a media report just to say something. He had the credentials and won. That's it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 3:55pm on 11 Jan 2011, mistryman wrote:

    I don't understand why people are kicking off over this result. If this award is for the best individual player in the world, then there is little doubt that the accolade belongs to Messi.

    Don't get me wrong, Xavi and Iniesta are great players and winning the world cup is a fantastic achievement. However winning a competition shouldn't be the sole reason for winning an individual accolade.

    That Messi has won it shows what a great player he is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 4:00pm on 11 Jan 2011, Alice Pulley wrote:

    This sort of argument makes me laugh to a certain degree. For a start the names mentioned above (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder, Forlan) have all had great seasons and some of the criticism (e.g. of Messi) is frankly ludicrous. We'd all have any of them playing for England (or your respective national sides) in a second and any of them (maybe with Forlan as an outsider deserving a lot of respect) would be a worthy winner.

    I think the thing to remember is that this award is not for the best player at the World Cup or for best player in the (latter stages) of the CL. Its about the best player in the world over the calender year of 2010. Yes, doing well in any big competitions should count towards this but again, the award is not just based on any one or two competitions or games.

    For me, over the year and for an individual award, I have no problem with Messi winning this. I think the argument mentioned several times above (if you could have any player in the world in your team, who would it be) leads a lot of people toward Messi and the fact that the managers who pick the teams have voted in his favour kind of says a lot.

    This kind of award is subjective, its not based on facts and figures but the opinions of those in the game. Whoever won it, it doesn't take anything away from the ability of the other players and criticising any of these guys for their 2010 performances is fairly ridiculous.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 4:02pm on 11 Jan 2011, over_there wrote:

    @61:
    Choose 1 player of the 5 below that you would lik to play for your country or team:

    1 Messi
    2 Xavi
    3 Iniesta
    5 Sneider
    5 Forlan

    ----
    To be honest, I'm not sure I would want to "lik" any of them ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 4:07pm on 11 Jan 2011, Oneness wrote:

    Messi scored 54 goals and assisted 16 in 49 appearances with Barcelona in 2010 (La Liga & Champions League). (OptaPaulo)

    Messi had a fantastic year. I love watching Xavi (and Iniesta) play but there's no denying Messi was the best overall in 2010.

    It's an individual (not team) award so winning the World cup, or not, is irrelevant.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 4:08pm on 11 Jan 2011, Dave Stavros wrote:

    Sorry if someone posted this already. The reason Xavi or Iniesta didn't win was because they are both midfield players who play in similar positions in the all of the same teams. If someone has to vote between Iniesta or Xavi then they may have difficulty deciding. This counts against both of them because it splits their vote. Messi also plays for Barca but he gets tonnes of goals so he is classed as more of a forward. If it was Xavi vs Messi Or Iniesta vs Messi then there may have been a different result. Messi also has the numbers and ad campaigns to back up his claim. It's like American politics; there is a reason why parties spend hundreds of millions of dollars on adertising. I would still vote for Messi, though. As good as Iniesta is, I am pretty sure Messi could do a good job in his position but I can't see Iniesta doing what Messi does.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 4:09pm on 11 Jan 2011, telstra wrote:

    It's certainly the year of the little people.

    Iniesta would have got my vote, although there's no denying Messi's outrageous talent

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 4:09pm on 11 Jan 2011, hackerjack wrote:

    The only ones who don't agree with Messi winning are the media hacks and the Spanish.

    He has been THE best player in the Spanish League by some margin, he was probably second to Sneijder in the Champions League and was one of the top 3 in the world cup, where he was let down by manager and team mates rather than through any fault of his own.

    Xavi and Iniesta had good seasons in all three competitions but arguably only at the World Cup did either do better than Messi and that should be predicated by having a better team overall.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 4:13pm on 11 Jan 2011, shaen wrote:

    I think that as long as you consider this a "competition" based on subjective standards, Messi is a just winner. However, so would Ronaldo, Robben etc etc.

    If you consider to set objective standards you will get in trouble comparing apples with pears.(i.e. attacking players vs defensive players) In the end you will be left with: who has won most and what was his part in achieving that.

    Messi> La Liga
    Xavi>La Liga, WC winners
    Iniesta> La Liga, WC winners + winning goal.
    Sneijder> Treble, Clubs WC winner, WC runner up, WC joined topscorer.

    I dont know who would win it based on these standards, all I know is Messi wouldn't.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 4:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, BBCLegend wrote:

    So England complained that the number of voters for the 2018 world cup were too few, and here you have countless coaches, and journalists from the around the globe voting for these awards, and the result is still not good enough? Sounds like some people like to complain just for the sake of complaining. Obviously Spain complains that its own players didn't win just the same as England complained about not winning the world cup. It's all about national pride, and has nothing to do with credibility. Messi won, very well done to him and to Jose Mourinho. Two very worthy winners.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 4:17pm on 11 Jan 2011, mr_ice2005 wrote:

    It is a complete travesty that Sneider didnt win the award. How FIFA failed to select him in the top 3 is absolutely flabbergasting. He was Serie A's best player, The champions league's best player and one of the worldcup's best player. What more do FIFA want? Actually come to think of it - it shouldnt be a surprise at all. FIFA are a complete joke and are run by jokes. I am certainly not a Messi hater but i am not a Messi lover either. He was anonymouse in the worldcup and was diving all over the place during last year's semi final champions league match. He is genuinely a gifted player and one of the world's best no doubt but i dont believe he is the world's best. I would put him and C.Ronaldo level pegging. However "greats" like R.Baggio, Maradonna, Zidane carried their teams single handedly to worldcup glory or to finals. Messi has a long way to go but granted still has plenty of time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 4:17pm on 11 Jan 2011, OhhhhMattyMatty wrote:

    The guy has scored almost a goal a game in all competitions for the last season and a half!!!

    Despite playing on the wing!!!!!

    YES! Messi deserved to win it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 4:19pm on 11 Jan 2011, lust for strife wrote:

    Messi is a deserved winner after the year he has had.Why is everyone giving out about fifa when its not fifa that picks the winner.And for people giving out about spain "ruining" the world cup its completely sour grapes.If England could hold on to the ball the way spain do we would never hear the end of it

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 4:19pm on 11 Jan 2011, hawick wrote:

    The right person won. It's a bit like had Law, Best and Charlton been nominated. The other two in their ways were wonderful but for sheer magic and bringing football to an even more mass audience, Messi is your man, just as George Best was.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 4:23pm on 11 Jan 2011, Caludrup wrote:

    It's the first year that FIFA have had the Ballon d'Or and already it's controversial.

    Don't you guys think that Xavi and Iniesta were probably victims of being too similar players, playing in the same teams? They would have attracted each others votes.

    Messi probably is the best individual player out there so it's not a catastophe, but he couldn't do it without the brilliance of Xavi and Iniesta in the midfield, and the magnificance of the Spanish football at the World Cup should be rewarded in every way possible.

    That Spanish team restores my faith in football, the faith that FIFA is trying so hard to take away with its endless shenanigans.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 4:25pm on 11 Jan 2011, malik80pk wrote:

    close call! but what really puzzles me is that whenever i have seen team of the year, there is no place for central or defensive midfield player, without that team looks not realistic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 4:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, niro_d_wolf wrote:

    How can two players who are part of the spine of Barcelona's success (along with Messi) and who won the world cup not get the ballon d'or.

    I still think Messi is best player in world, but on the past year he really shouldn't have won that award, maybe shouldnt even have made the final trio

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 4:31pm on 11 Jan 2011, Stoichio wrote:

    In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter who won it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 4:32pm on 11 Jan 2011, ogunfao wrote:

    I'm trying to understand where fifa is culpable here when it wasn't voted for by the executive committee but by the captains, coaches and jornalists globally. Does anybody realise that the captain of spain (Ike Casillas - Real madrid) and the national coach (formally of Real Madrid too) did not vote for the spanish players infact Casillas didn't vote anything Barcelona but for former and present Real Madrid players in Sneijder, Robben and Ronaldo. There in lies the politics. Charity begins at home. Fifa has no fault in this. I thought Sneijder deserves it more but but who am I to know more than the coaches, Jornalists and the captains for the national teams globally.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 4:33pm on 11 Jan 2011, nik1976 wrote:


    Regardless of who helped their team to win whatever trophies, Messi is the best player in the world. (By a considerable margin)
    That is why he won the award.
    I'd imagine, if he stays injury free, he will win it every year for some time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 4:35pm on 11 Jan 2011, yes wrote:

    Messi mesmerized almost all opponent including my darling team Arsenal last season. He deserve the award.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 4:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    The words "Xavi and Iniesta" will for me be synonymous with those who know little about football but know how fashionable it is to quote their names when talking about great players.

    These two are very good footballers, don't get me wrong. Iniesta scored a world cup final goal, that cannot be disputed.

    However, Ballon D'or. No chance. Both pass the ball extremely well, and interlink with forward players brilliantly, creating and exploiting pace. But neither is a match winning player. Neither score enough goals or provide enough assists, certainly not to the extraordinary extent of club mate Messi.

    Ballon D'or considers the year 2010. It considers Domestic, European and International competition. Messi was the best player in Domestic and European competition. Forlan or Muller were the best World Cup performers. When Barca trounced Arsenal at Camp Nou, it was Messi who shone. Xavi and Iniesta were nullified by some very simple but effective tactics by Thiago Motta against Internazionale.

    Messi had a disappointing World Cup. Xavi and Iniesta were a good midfield pairing, but does this mean Deschamps and Petit should have been in the running in 1998? Petit got a goal in the final don't forget, and Deschamps had played in 4 successive Champions League Finals.

    No for me Diego Forlan was your man. A brilliant domestic season in 2009/2010. Europa League winner and scorer in the final. Phenomenal World Cup were he was definately the star man, the man who dragged Uruguay through the rounds. You cannot argue that Xavi or Iniesta were the star of the Spain show - just a magnificent all round team performance.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just for those who know very little about football, Iniesta didn't play against Inter and also, when he does play, him and Xavi aren't a midfield paring because he usually plays on the left, as he does for Spain.

    Xavi plays in a midfield with two holding - Busquets and Alonso for Spain and Busqets and Yaya (last season), now Mascherano for Barca.

    To discredit them as just very good players is laughable. Spain and Barca's success is based purely on how they keep and use the ball from defence to attack. Both of them are masters of this. There assist rate is remarkable when you compare it to other midfielders throughout the world.

    They are not Messi and never will be. Messi is a one of a kind. A Maradona for our generation. He fully deserves his award, but his achievements for Barca have a hell of a lot to do with the players around him, especially Xavi and Iniesta. In fact, I'm pretty sure he has been quoted as saying so himself. Just look at his perfromances for Argentina - was he just bad or was he missing the support of others???

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 4:39pm on 11 Jan 2011, DieHardGooner wrote:

    Congratulations to Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho. Both worthy winners who have been outstanding for their respectful clubs. The scary thing is that Messi will probably still improve and I can see him becoming the best player of all time. Yes, overtaking the likes of Pele and Maradona.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 4:41pm on 11 Jan 2011, Roscoe1891 wrote:

    My heart wanted Xavi. Linked to that is the fact that he is the heartbeat of the 2 best teams on the planet. Everything comes and goes through him.

    Iniesta spent too long on the sidelines injured last season in spote of some incredible performances. He's my favourite player, but I'd have dumped him out of the top 3 for Sneijder, purely because he didn't play for long periods.

    But how can your head not say Messi? This is aplayer who played 49 League and Champions League games, scoring 54 goals in the process, and producing 16 assists. Have you ever even seen goalscoring like that? It's unrelenting, it's phenomenal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 4:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, tuks181 wrote:

    Two questions:

    If Barcelona offered you the chance to take one of that trio on loan for an entire season free of charge who would you take?

    Do you think either of Xavi or Iniesta would swap their World Cup Winners medal for Messi's Ballon D'Or?

    ------------------------

    While you're not entirely wrong, it's also no exactly what the vote is about. Gerrard by far and wide is a much better footballer that Nasri (I'm an Arsenal fan by the way), and if I had a choice between these two I would certainly pick Gerrard.

    However Nasri has been a much better footballer than Gerrard (at least this eason) and so if we are to vote the EPL playet of the season (so far), no doubt Nasri would beat Gerrard hands down.

    While I'm not saying that Messi didnt deserve it (actually he did IMO), it's wrong of us to think the vote should go the one that you'd like to have on your team.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 4:46pm on 11 Jan 2011, the-bowlers-holding wrote:

    Errr...just watched the video of the 3 finalists.

    Surely Iniesta should have won...he was the only player to have scored a goal!

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 4:46pm on 11 Jan 2011, VintageRJ wrote:

    Xavi and Iniesta, although probably having a better season (IMO), had no chance of winning this ahead of Messi for the simple reason they don't have a huge global sponsership deal with either Addidas or Nike. The ballon d'or always goes to an Addidas player one year then a nike player the next, thus keeping the two biggest sporting goods companies involved in football (and who put great sums of money into the sport) happy. Interestingly enough had the old way of voting been used (ie votes by respected journo's and not people with a commercial interest in the sport), Messi wouldn't have won.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 4:48pm on 11 Jan 2011, notdolly wrote:

    It's widely recognised that Messi had a better year than Xavi and Iniesta at club level. Why then such shock at this result? It is doubtful that Xavi or Iniesta could have done any better than Messi if they were Argentinian. And if we're going to put that much emphasis on the World Cup, then why not Diego Forlan... after all he won the golden ball as the tournament's best player.

    The problem here, it seems, is the ambiguity of the voting process, what factors should be taken into account and the weighting applied to those factors. If this is a simple vote for the best player throughout the year, the result is no surprise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 4:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, richardleng31 wrote:

    FIFA should be written FIFA not Fifa, it's an acronym, check the official sites

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 4:51pm on 11 Jan 2011, angelgreg wrote:

    I am sure we all know that it is not FIFA members who vote. What are the coaches and some journalists who vote think. I would want to think that because one won a World Cup then they played better than one who did not. In a sober assessment of the overall individual contribution of a player to his team whether at club level or for the national team......who was more influencial????
    Please do not blame FIFA but the coaches and the journalists.

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 4:59pm on 11 Jan 2011, hawick wrote:

    '109. At 4:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, niro_d_wolf wrote:
    How can two players who are part of the spine of Barcelona's success (along with Messi) and who won the world cup not get the ballon d'or.

    I still think Messi is best player in world...'

    Think you answered your own question!

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 5:01pm on 11 Jan 2011, footvoodoo wrote:

    Had been seeing a lot of articles questioning how Messi got the Ballon d'or.

    Otta utharame ullu - It came wishing for him, rather than he wishing for it.


    Club football nokiyal,

    Messi and Sneijder were the 2 right candidates to get it.

    Messi because of his individual form (about 60 goals in 2010 at an average of 1 goal per game). Champions League top scorer.
    Sneidjer - League, CL and World club cup.

    But to be fair to Messi, CL was not decided by Sneidjer, but rather by Milito. So was Italian cup and some of the critical league matches.
    For most of 2010, Sneijder was playing bad or out injured.
    If Messi has support of Xavi and Iniesta, Sneidjer had Motta, Stankovic and Cambiaso to thank for. Mourinho getting the best coach also takes away a bit of edge from Inter players.
    Inter played a ultra defensive style hoping Milito will nick a goal, where as Barca played a possession based attacking football. Barca did not even have a out and out striker for most of 2010.

    Taking in World cup also,
    Xavi and Iniesta come into picture.

    Now here is where the twist comes. This is where fate played a big role.

    Previously Ballon dor was decided by voting of journalists only.
    FIFA gave the World player of the year separately.

    This year both were combined, but the main difference was
    National team captains
    National team coaches
    and
    journalists got the voting power as it was made a more global award.

    This was the luck factor which supported Messi s skill.

    The overwhelming votes from journalists for Sneidjer was countered by the votes of national team captains for Messi.

    It is normal to see a reaction from media as they voted against Messi.

    It was an open vote and as global as it can be. Please see the pdf from Fifa.com.
    So he was destined for it and all things aligned in his favour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 5:04pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    120. At 4:48pm on 11 Jan 2011, Clear & Present Ranger wrote:

    It's widely recognised that Messi had a better year than Xavi and Iniesta at club level. Why then such shock at this result? It is doubtful that Xavi or Iniesta could have done any better than Messi if they were Argentinian.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not saying that Argentina would have lifted the World Cup with Xavi and Iniesta, but the very reason they were thumped by Germany was because they couldn't keep the ball in central areas. Messi and Tevez were both forced deep to get any kind of opportunities, while the German defence put the kettle on and relaxed.

    Roll on a few days and look at how Spain completely prevented the same German team from having the ball and what was the end result? Individuals don't make teams win. They just make it that little bit easier to win. Messi without Xavi and Iniesta is a lesser player. Fortunately for Spain, they have one David Villa. Unfortunately, Argentina have nothing anywhere near Xavi and Iniesta.

    Before the world cup started, everyone spoke about Argentina in attack. Higuan, Messi, Tevez, Milito, Di Maria. All useless if you can't get the ball to them. The man responsible for this was Veron, but he was sitting next Maradona for the whole of the Germany game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 5:10pm on 11 Jan 2011, CyDeim wrote:

    If the only criteria is being on the World Cup winning team, then Messi shouldn't have won it. But if one doesn't have to be a World Cup winner to win the award, then it's Messi all the way - no questions.

    And by the way, I worship the ground Xavi walks on as far as football is concerned.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 5:12pm on 11 Jan 2011, Virtuet wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 5:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, Wasobia wrote:

    I just don't understand people some time, Iker Casillas was saying the outcome of the vote was disappointed for the Spaniard, Can some one asked this guy if he vote for Xavi or Iniesta? He vote for Sneijder, Ruben, and Ronaldo and now he was saying the out come was disappointing for the spaniard. common wake up you hypocrite that what happend when you sell your own country men out. If not for all this guys he will not have win the Golding glove at the world cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 5:20pm on 11 Jan 2011, Mark wrote:

    I watch Spanish football and live in Barcelona. Overall there is no question that on a week by week basis that Messi was and is the best player. Also it is also clear in Spain Iniesta is the second best player

    If you take the world cup only then by far the best player was in my mind Xavi, followed by Sneidjer , Forlan and Iniesta.

    If the world cup was only the group stage it would have been Villa who was magnificent at that stage.

    So overall I think any of the top three were fair choices

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 5:21pm on 11 Jan 2011, Adam WBF wrote:

    This is a very difficult one to call. Im liking the various cases people are putting forward thus far, and essentially it boils down to selecting an outstanding individual who is great at playing a team game.

    I can't help but feel Messi's name and stature play into it somewhat, as a reputation thing, having said that, I'm not critisicing the man for a second. He's nothing short of a genius with the ball. As people have already mentioned, Spain actually struggled to break down opposition defences, despite their lovely passing. I actually thought the Germans were better and more effective (and more pleasing on the eye, dare I add) to watch, although that is easily countered by the fact that, who beat them in the semi-final, I hear you cry!

    On that point - I can't remember the shortlist off the top of my head, was there much of a German representation? I'm thinking guys like Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Muller would have been in with a shout, having made the CL Final and played important roles in the Germany WC campaign. I'm thinking Ozil, Podolski et al might have suffered due a lack of club success, although they were still great to watch in the WC also.

    And those talking of Diego Forlan - great shout. If there was ever an 'Unsung Hero' award for 2010, he'd sweep it hands down. Whenever Atletico Madrid needed goals (and I say this with a heavy heart as a Fulham fan), he nailed them every single time. His conduct in the Europa League final was exemplary, very sporting, and he then backed this all up with an awesome display in the WC. Both times, notice, not in giants of the game, e.g. Barcelona, Inter at club level, or Spain, Argentina et al at international level.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 5:25pm on 11 Jan 2011, theo wrote:

    i am sure there is something really wrong at FIFA. the award is actually between Xavi and Wesley. that Wesley did not make the top three is proof that there really is something wrong at FIFA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 5:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, Yunus wrote:

    Sure the wrong man won the award. The right candidate should be Wesley Sneijder of the Nertherlands. Xavi or Iniesta next. Messi did not do good in the world cup. That showed that his success at Barcelona is largely due the the bunch of stars Barcelona parades. Sneijder is a hit man at inter and was at the world cup. Anytime anyteam, anyday anywhere, Sniejder is a star. FIFA WRONG once again. I am not surprised at your decision. FIFA decides what it likes and it has always been to hell with people who don't agree them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 5:30pm on 11 Jan 2011, Agbeje Martin wrote:

    Football fans in my part of world are so much underwhelmed by the choice of Messi becoming the winner of the glamorous Ballon D'or.
    One great question in the mouth of many a fan of football as well as myself is "what criterion was used in nominating players for this award that the multi-talented player like Sneider was not seen fit enough to make the final list of three best players of 2010 let alone winning the award?"
    Going by 2010 football season, the Dutch man - Sneider performed top of the tops at club and national level. What more is required of a footballer after a treble with Inter Millan - scoring superb goals, top notch performance and classical contributions toping it all with Champions League trophy and at national level played breath takingly through to the final of the world cup.
    Messi no doubt was and still is a unique player but was not at it best in the 2010 football year. How was the comparism made that he beat all the odds to come top of the tops remains unclear to many people on my side of the world.
    Its high time football fans were made aware of how critical footbal decisions are made so as to take the doubt off many minds. We have not forgotten in a hurry how England lost out in the last world cup bid controversially.
    Let it be pure football and not politics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 5:33pm on 11 Jan 2011, notdolly wrote:

    It's widely recognised that Messi had a better year than Xavi and Iniesta at club level. Why then such shock at this result? It is doubtful that Xavi or Iniesta could have done any better than Messi if they were Argentinian.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not saying that Argentina would have lifted the World Cup with Xavi and Iniesta, but the very reason they were thumped by Germany was because they couldn't keep the ball in central areas. Messi and Tevez were both forced deep to get any kind of opportunities, while the German defence put the kettle on and relaxed.

    Roll on a few days and look at how Spain completely prevented the same German team from having the ball and what was the end result? Individuals don't make teams win. They just make it that little bit easier to win. Messi without Xavi and Iniesta is a lesser player. Fortunately for Spain, they have one David Villa. Unfortunately, Argentina have nothing anywhere near Xavi and Iniesta.

    Before the world cup started, everyone spoke about Argentina in attack. Higuan, Messi, Tevez, Milito, Di Maria. All useless if you can't get the ball to them. The man responsible for this was Veron, but he was sitting next Maradona for the whole of the Germany game.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Agreed. But if the award is for the best player over the year, your argument has absolutely no bearing on who should be given the award. Are you suggesting that Xavi or Iniesta should win it just because they have David Villa in their national team, whilst Messi should miss out because Argentina didn't have the same quality in midfield?

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 5:34pm on 11 Jan 2011, Virtuet wrote:

    Whoes been writting the House Rules the Barcelona probaganda people ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 5:36pm on 11 Jan 2011, johnc87 wrote:

    i think Forlan should have got it, playing in much poorer teams and dragging both to success

    Sneijder ahs the likes of Etoo, Cambiasso, Zanetti(how argentina could have used those 2),Maicon and Lucio

    Barcelonas tram speaks for itself

    Atletico only have Aguero of world class talent
    Uruguay have cavani and Suarez as their next 2 best players

    Says itall

    Can someone explain how the team got rigged

    Carles Puyol derspite all his ability is not a left back and Ashley Cole was the standout performer of 2010 despite his bad world cup, like someone said its not 7 games but 12 months

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 5:44pm on 11 Jan 2011, cruyffisthegreatest14 wrote:

    I feel that the best man won. I'm not just saying this as Iniesta broke my heart during the final, but Messi is such a special and unique talent - you only have to watch him play for 5 minutes to see how much he contributes, not just at the front, but in assisting his team mates. Yes, you could say that Iniesta is quiet and somewhat overshadowed by Messi, but at the end of the day - Messi's overall contribution is just phenomenal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 5:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, tamales wrote:

    At 5:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, Wasobia wrote:

    I just don't understand people some time, Iker Casillas was saying the outcome of the vote was disappointed for the Spaniard, Can some one asked this guy if he vote for Xavi or Iniesta? He vote for Sneijder, Ruben, and Ronaldo and now he was saying the out come was disappointing for the spaniard. common wake up you hypocrite that what happend when you sell your own country men out. If not for all this guys he will not have win the Golding glove at the world cup.

    --

    Doesn't it occur to you that captains and coaches were not allowed to vote for their fellow country men? Some people...

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 5:49pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    I'd say Xavi was a deserving winner, would of liked to see Sneijder at least make the final three. While Iniesta and Messi are world class players, Xavi is the back bone of both his club and national sides. As for the world cup I hadn't heard Iniesta's name mentioned until he scored the winning goal, Messi was nowhere but neither was Xavi. I just feel if you take Xavi out the Barcelona squad, then Messi won't score as many or have such an influence, neither will Iniesta. Unlike Ronaldo who is practically carrying Real Madrid. In my opinion the best player in the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 5:51pm on 11 Jan 2011, King Kwon wrote:

    It's interesting. If just one of them, Xavi OR Iniesta, were in the final three shortlist, they would have won. By including both Spaniards, the people's choice have been split.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 5:52pm on 11 Jan 2011, SportsFan wrote:

    Messi has been the best player in the world last season.
    The ball has been given to the correct player.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 5:53pm on 11 Jan 2011, rony wrote:

    I am not sure I agree that Xavi deserved this award. Xavi is a wonderful player and was instrumental behind Spain's world cup success. However, it was Forlan who got the award for player. And up until the semis, Spain did not play that well.
    And I though Messi played quite well at the WC. It was Diego's tactics that let him down. And no one can argue who is the best player in La Liga for few seasons now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 5:58pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    134. At 5:33pm on 11 Jan 2011, Clear & Present Ranger wrote:
    It's widely recognised that Messi had a better year than Xavi and Iniesta at club level. Why then such shock at this result? It is doubtful that Xavi or Iniesta could have done any better than Messi if they were Argentinian.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not saying that Argentina would have lifted the World Cup with Xavi and Iniesta, but the very reason they were thumped by Germany was because they couldn't keep the ball in central areas. Messi and Tevez were both forced deep to get any kind of opportunities, while the German defence put the kettle on and relaxed.

    Roll on a few days and look at how Spain completely prevented the same German team from having the ball and what was the end result? Individuals don't make teams win. They just make it that little bit easier to win. Messi without Xavi and Iniesta is a lesser player. Fortunately for Spain, they have one David Villa. Unfortunately, Argentina have nothing anywhere near Xavi and Iniesta.

    Before the world cup started, everyone spoke about Argentina in attack. Higuan, Messi, Tevez, Milito, Di Maria. All useless if you can't get the ball to them. The man responsible for this was Veron, but he was sitting next Maradona for the whole of the Germany game.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Agreed. But if the award is for the best player over the year, your argument has absolutely no bearing on who should be given the award. Are you suggesting that Xavi or Iniesta should win it just because they have David Villa in their national team, whilst Messi should miss out because Argentina didn't have the same quality in midfield?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I never said Messi didn't deserve it (see point 114). I was merely answering your question as to whether Xavi and Iniesta would have done any better than Messi if they were Argentinian. I think we both agree that the answer is a resounding 'yes'.

    Messi's failings at the World Cup were not entirely his own fault. Much like Ronaldo, it depends on how you are deployed as a part of a team and who that team is made up of. Both were left exposed by the failings of their team mates.

    Nobody can question Messi's or Ronaldo's commitment, but you can only be as good as the rest of your team allow you to be. Xavi's game, especially, is all about control and possession, therefore making it much easier for him to dictate the play than someone like Messi or Ronaldo, in the advanced positions we saw them in during the Worl Cup.

    There is no question that Messi and Ronaldo are out of this world, but many on the this thread have talked about only 'impact players' should be considered for the Ballon D'or. Surely, there is no greater impact to be made than being able to control the pace of the game from start to finish!

    My point regarding Villa is that he complimented Xavi and Iniesta's game for Spain as much as much Messi did for Barca. Unfortunately, Messi didn't have the same luxury when playing for Argentina. That is no way taking anything away from his achievements domestically.

    He was by far and away the best player of 2010, even if it was just based on his form since September - incredible!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 6:06pm on 11 Jan 2011, monk1990 wrote:

    There's no way that Xavi or, Ineistas could have taken this title over Mess. No disrespect to them both players.maybe another time and date or, simply against another player not this dude. Sometime you find yourself in the right place with the wrong person and, i think being with Messi will overshadow their greatness. It's almost like Eto's playing alone side Ronaldinho in his prime. Do you expect Eto'o to win an accolade over Dinho?

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 6:07pm on 11 Jan 2011, mrtmh wrote:

    Whatever anyone says, Messi has won and that can't be changed and when people look back years later they will only see Messi's name and won't think about Wesley. It doesn't actually matter whether he deserved it or not because he has it. I personally think he deserved it because Xavi's case was more for lifetime achievement than anything, Iniesta was injured for a large part of the season and Sneijder was given way too much credit for his role in Inter's success. Mourinho, Milito, Eto'o and Sneijder are the main reasons for Inter's success and a lot of people just put it down to Sneijder alone, which is ridiculous.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 6:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    I'd say Xavi was a deserving winner, would of liked to see Sneijder at least make the final three. While Iniesta and Messi are world class players, Xavi is the back bone of both his club and national sides. As for the world cup I hadn't heard Iniesta's name mentioned until he scored the winning goal, Messi was nowhere but neither was Xavi. I just feel if you take Xavi out the Barcelona squad, then Messi won't score as many or have such an influence, neither will Iniesta. Unlike Ronaldo who is practically carrying Real Madrid. In my opinion the best player in the world.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm guessing you didn't watch much of the World Cup until the final then?

    Iniesta scored against Chile in the group stages and also got an assist, as well as scoring in the final. Xavi got three assists in total for the whole tournament.

    Although it's not exactly setting the world on fire, to be involved in 6 of Spain meagre 8 goal haul is hardly lacking any contribution. Spain underperformed and still won, with there two main players making significant contributions.

    A team not playing well and winning.......sign of greatness? And before you jump all over me, no I'm not a Utd fan. I just give respect where respect is due.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 6:20pm on 11 Jan 2011, Fergie wrote:

    Personally, I think Xavi deserved it. One of the greatest midfielders of all time will now probably never win the award. Likewise Iniesta. Although I tend to disagree with the criteria of winning the Champions League and the World Cup/Euro's that usually decides the 'best player', I cant help but feel it has been abandoned this year in favour of Messi. Not taking anything away from Messi though. I would vote for him if it was purely football and not trophies.

    Why Cheik Tiote should never have been sent off at the weekend:

    http://toonbarmy.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/tiote-red-signals-the-death-of-common-sense/

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 6:22pm on 11 Jan 2011, You can take our lives but youll never take 606 wrote:

    Finding conspiracy in everything to do with FIFA? Let's just accept that he won and congratulate the greatest player in the World. I would have voted for Iniesta, but there ain't much between he and Messi. Xavi a bit further back.

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 6:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, RedddRussian wrote:

    Given the fact that both Xavi and Iniesta are great players and certainly deserve Ballon d'Or, calling Messi a wrong person for it is just a bit gross.
    Messi is Messi. He represents QUALITY in today's football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 6:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, Ash wrote:

    Lionel Messi deserves it over 74 goals in the year 2010.

    This is the prize for the best player in the year 2010 right? No-one else even came close to that figure of goals, even in the poorer leagues.

    Now onto Wesley Sneijder, for those moaning he should have won it because he won a treble with Inter? The award is for the year 2010 and in the year 2010 Wesley Sneijder has scored 1 Serie A goal, has been absolutely appalling since the World Cup final.
    If he was as good as Lionel Messi, he would have actually performed for at least 11/12 months of the year, but he didnt. He performed for 6 months. On the other hand Messi was still Argentina's best player at the World Cup despite not scoring.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 6:30pm on 11 Jan 2011, garythenotrashcougar wrote:

    To be honest, who cares who won? The stark reality is, this Barca team made up the top three and had 5 men in the world XI. There is an argument to make them the greatest club side of all time, if they do a League and European double this year I think it puts it to bed. I never thought I would see a more exciting, attractive side than Arsenal 2002-2004 but this lot have taken it to new levels.

    If the award is decided on performances in the calendar year - which I believe it is - then overall, Messi just about edged it. His performances at the back-end of 2009-2010 were nothing short of consistent genius. Iniesta and Xavi had better World Cups, but for sheer brilliance across 12 months I think it's about right. Though, as I say, who cares? Everyone who doesn't have Sky should fork out now to watch La Liga every weekend, Barca are that good the whole world should be watching.

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 6:40pm on 11 Jan 2011, drew wrote:

    Burrows goal was sublime. But I reckon he fluked it. I think he was tring to flick it on for a team mate to run in on goal.

    Have you ever seen the Irish League? Its pretty dismal standard.I mean it is nowhere near english league 2 standard. Part timers

    But I think he should have won it anyway cos what a lovely fluke

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 6:41pm on 11 Jan 2011, Don wrote:

    If it's an award for the MVP or most exciting player (ie which player would you sign for your team) then Messi is the obvious choice and will remain so(barring injuries) for several years to come. However I thought it was a player of the year award and surely this should go to the player who helped his team the most during the year. Messi with his outstanding performances helped Barca win La Liga and nothing else in 2010. I don't think there could be any complaint if Messi had had an outstanding world cup even on a team knocked out say in the quarters but he was actually very moderate even in the group stage when Argentina cruised through comfortably and he didn't score any of their ten goals. He lacked service and didn't have a playmaker like Xavi who in a recent game for Barca passed the ball more often than the entire opposition team combined. You can blame Maradona for leaving out Cambiasso and other strange decisions but you cannot then make the jump to say Messi would have had a good world cup if Maradona had done things differently so therefore he deserves the award.
    It seems like the international game is losing ground on club game especially on La Liga and the CL. Very disappointing for Spain who in neither the year they won Euro 2008 nor WC 2010 do they get a balon d'or. I think Xavi and maybe Casillas were the two players who you could say were indispensable for Spain and with Xavi also pulling the strings for Barca then he is the obvious winner. Iniesta should not have been in the top three as he missed several Barca games through injury and if say Fabregas had started instead of him Spain may still have won.
    Also little bit ridiculous that someone can win such a contest with only 23% of the vote. More than three quarters of the "judges" voted for someone else.

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 6:48pm on 11 Jan 2011, Iknowmorethanyou wrote:

    If the world cup was so important to the decision then what about Forlan or David Villa, both had good years for their clubs too. I know they werent in the champions league but they were still great. And when there are so many good players in a team like barca's its much easier to look good

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 6:51pm on 11 Jan 2011, tedh597 wrote:

    Sure Messi didn't score well in World Cup but neither did a lot of other "big guns".
    This likely to different positioning and different players.To deny such a prolific goal scorer who is unselfish and not a "prima donna" is wrong. He is just as happy passing ball to whoever is in a better position and in all the games I have never seen him hog the ball. To me just a great all round, humble genius.
    He is one of the few players out there capable of old fashioned dribbling and when he gets the ball something quite often happens. To me the most exciting player.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 6:54pm on 11 Jan 2011, Agbeje Martin wrote:

    Football fans in my part of world are so much underwhelmed by the choice of Messi becoming the winner of the glamorous Ballon D'or.
    One great question in the mouth of many a fan of football as well as myself is "what criterion was used in nominating players for this award that the multi-talented player like Sneider was not seen fit enough to make the final list of three best players of 2010 let alone winning the award?"
    Going by 2010 football season, the Dutch man - Sneider performed top of the tops at club and national level. What more is required of a footballer after a treble with Inter Millan - scoring superb goals, top notch performance and classical contributions toping it all with Champions League trophy and at national level played breath takingly through to the final of the world cup.
    Messi no doubt was and still is a unique player but was not at it best in the 2010 football year. How was the comparism made that he beat all the odds to come top of the tops remains unclear to many people on my side of the world.
    Its high time football fans were made aware of how critical footbal decisions are made so as to take the doubt off many minds. We have not forgotten in a hurry how England lost out in the last world cup bid controversially.
    Let it be pure football and not politics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 7:10pm on 11 Jan 2011, be the hokey wrote:

    If the award is meant for the current best player in the world then yes, it is undoubtedly Messi - the best player since Maradona in '86.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 7:13pm on 11 Jan 2011, astortate wrote:

    I would have gone with Xavi. Not since Zidane have we such any midfielder with this much quality. We're talking about a player who makes on average zero (0) bad passes per game. He won the World Cup Fifa's greatest showpiece where Messi was absent. He didn't show up for the greatest football event of the year. Xavi's performance was consistent in all competitions. Messi's wasn't and that's a fact. Sure Messi is the best in the world at what he does, but he failed to deliver at the world cup. Did he score? I say Xavi! Viva Espana!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 7:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, tommybrusher wrote:

    If Messi had not won it, the article would read "Messi Robbed..."

    Best player on the planet, you know it, I know it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 7:29pm on 11 Jan 2011, Joy wrote:

    Wrong man?? Seriously after seeing him play over the last 3 years?? yes he did have a poor world cup by his standards but this is footballer of the year not the world cup golden ball! :D

    Messi is the best player now and the best since Diego without a doubt! The way he has been playing week in and week out producing sheer magic every match, there cannot be another winner! Also seeing him play now, please be ready to see him win this next year and make it 3 years in a row! A fitting comment to the player and his genius!

    I feel bad for Xavi and Iniesta because they are brilliant; its just that they are playing along side a very very special player! :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 7:44pm on 11 Jan 2011, bbinc wrote:

    To start with the wrong man did not win the Ballon d'Or, the Ballon d'Or is not determined by one competition, neither is it determined by goals. it's a culmination of their performance, assists, skills, goals, influence and impact on matches. With all due respect to the other players, Messi is light years away. I know Innesta and Xavi make a lot of contributions to Barca and Spain however the one player that lights up every match is messi and we see it every time. Please let's draw a line on this debate and move on, Messi deserves it and as long as he continues to be fit I can see him win it next year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 7:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, croatandabout wrote:

    You cannot forget that without xavi barca lost to malaga! Enough said!

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 7:52pm on 11 Jan 2011, Mohd_enigma wrote:

    Xavi was my pick , a unique player and the best of his generation 10 years or 20 years from now , we all will be telling our children about this great talent , Messi was great too , but he is still young and sure he will win it at least two more times!! very upset that Xavi didn't get the recognition he deserves and earned with his unparalleled class.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 7:53pm on 11 Jan 2011, William McDonald wrote:

    Messi is the best individual player. Xavi and Iniesta as a unit are his equal when they have each other to pass to as we all saw at the World Cup and week in/week out for Barcelona - but there is no doubt that it is Messi who has the magic in his boots.

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 7:54pm on 11 Jan 2011, CarlisleUnited4tw wrote:

    Becaue Messi didn't score in 5 games at the world cup doesn't mean he doesn't deserve it. He set up a few goals at the world cup. Spain just had the better team all round. Just because a country has won the world cup shouldn't mean they have the BEST player that year. Forlan was pretty special last year. Getting a ratio of 1 in 2 playing for a team that were mid table last season as well as scoring 7 in 10 for his country again a team that isn't bursting with talent. It's all well performing in the best teams in the world but personally I think more credit should go to players that perform in lesser teams

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 7:57pm on 11 Jan 2011, papou wrote:

    Didier Drogba, 37 goals, League and cup double, Even missing 6 weeks for
    Africa cup.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 7:58pm on 11 Jan 2011, henry1422 wrote:

    I think for once the right man one. Remember when Cannavaro won just because he won the WC, the best footballer is the one who is the best football player, not the one who has won the most because hios national team was excellent and his manager is not a loon that tried to beat Germany with a ridiculous system that backfired. Even in Messi was playing for Southhampton he should have won this award, no question. I think Xavi/Iniesta were worthy 2nd and 3rd, and I thought Xavi could win because of his career as opposed to just this year, but at the end of the day the best man did win.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 8:06pm on 11 Jan 2011, fallenreds wrote:

    Messi was arguably the best club player in the world last season but I'm afraid he was eclipsed at the World Cup and his performance was somewhat disappointing. Iniesta on the other hand is part of the midfield rock for Barcelona allowing Messi to play his astonishing role, and with Xavi controlled the World Cup final and to score the winning goal would have been my choice for Ballon d'Or!

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 8:06pm on 11 Jan 2011, Messi4LFC wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 170. At 8:11pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    I'm guessing you didn't watch much of the World Cup until the final then?

    Iniesta scored against Chile in the group stages and also got an assist, as well as scoring in the final. Xavi got three assists in total for the whole tournament.

    Although it's not exactly setting the world on fire, to be involved in 6 of Spain meagre 8 goal haul is hardly lacking any contribution. Spain underperformed and still won, with there two main players making significant contributions.

    A team not playing well and winning.......sign of greatness? And before you jump all over me, no I'm not a Utd fan. I just give respect where respect is due.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So scoring a goal in the group stages makes him a worthy candidate? I can think of numerous people who scored more than him in the competition. It's just the fact that he scored in the final that makes him stand out. Not that he played better than other people! I think I'm right in saying Sneijder contributed far more than Iniesta. Not saying Iniesta isn't a world class player, but the award is based on achievement over a season. For me, Sneijder achieved more than Iniesta, Xavi and Messi over the course of the season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 8:11pm on 11 Jan 2011, richard brown wrote:

    Funny, nobody's talking about Frank Lampard missing out?

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 8:25pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    If that is meant to be sarcastic, I think you should read what I put again. I'm saying that just because he scored doesn't mean he played well, it was just that he did it in the final. Lampard scored and he doesn't even deserve to be mentioned with the likes of Inestia, Xavi etc etc

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 8:26pm on 11 Jan 2011, Joy wrote:

    @171 itsourgame you just made my day!!! ROFL... Man you are hilarious!

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 8:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    I think people are being very disrespectful to Messi.

    Lots of people question whether or not it was the 'wrong decision'. Well 500 odd people voted, and he came out with the most votes, how can that be wrong? it was a fair vote. 60 odd goals in 2010, a high number of assists, some stunning goals and jaw dropping performances but people dont think he deserved it because he couldnt take maradonas disjointed and disorganized argentina side further in south africa? that was 5 games.Xavi and iniesta didnt light the world cup up either and they had the benefit of playing with many of their team mates of whom they were familiar and comfortable, under a world class coach too (Del Bosque)
    . Its an award for individual brilliance, not 'most medals won', that might explain why Sneijder didnt win though imo he should have made the top 3 ahead of Iniesta who didnt make a great impact domestically.

    I wanted Xavi to win it, a player like him should win that award before retirement, but at the same time its hard to say Messi isnt deserving. I just think people should show a bit more respect.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 8:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    170. At 8:11pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:
    I'm guessing you didn't watch much of the World Cup until the final then?

    Iniesta scored against Chile in the group stages and also got an assist, as well as scoring in the final. Xavi got three assists in total for the whole tournament.

    Although it's not exactly setting the world on fire, to be involved in 6 of Spain meagre 8 goal haul is hardly lacking any contribution. Spain underperformed and still won, with there two main players making significant contributions.

    A team not playing well and winning.......sign of greatness? And before you jump all over me, no I'm not a Utd fan. I just give respect where respect is due.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So scoring a goal in the group stages makes him a worthy candidate? I can think of numerous people who scored more than him in the competition. It's just the fact that he scored in the final that makes him stand out. Not that he played better than other people! I think I'm right in saying Sneijder contributed far more than Iniesta. Not saying Iniesta isn't a world class player, but the award is based on achievement over a season. For me, Sneijder achieved more than Iniesta, Xavi and Messi over the course of the season.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "So scoring a goal in the group stages makes him a worthy candidate?"

    Yeah, that's exactly what I said, isn't it?!? My point was that just because he wasn't headline grabbing every week druing the world cup, it doesn't mean he didn't make a contribution in every game. I also never said he was the best player, I was merely replying to this:

    "As for the world cup I hadn't heard Iniesta's name mentioned until he scored the winning goal, Messi was nowhere but neither was Xavi"

    How can two player be nowhere considering that, of the eights goals scored, they contributed four assists and two goals between them. I never said they were the best performers, but the team they were playing in still lifted the World Cup despite being well below par. There were better performances and other players were more prolific, including Sneijder, but that doesn't mean Xavi and Iniesta didn't turn up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 8:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    Considering they are supposed to be world class players, none of them stood out at the world cup. I preferred watching the likes of Sanchez, much more exciting to watch. But Sneijder out performed the Barca 3 in the world cup and domestically IMO. The fact the Spain managed to win the world cup despite playing well below par speaks volumes of their defence, not their attackers! It was thanks to them that scoring one goal was always enough for them to win a game! As much as it hurts to say this, I enjoyed watching Germany play more than I did watching Spain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 9:10pm on 11 Jan 2011, Yuan13 wrote:

    If Messi had played for Spain, there wouldn't have been such controversial.
    Unfortunately (don't know why), Argentina haven't been able to use their talent in the midfield in order to provide good balls for Messi. Such a waste of talent: Pastore, Bolatti, Di Maria. Batista might be the one to put them back in the right way.
    I'd personally have gone for Xavi. Probably because he's one of the most
    underestimated players in Europe. He doesn't get the hightlights too often, the attention of the media focusing on goals and other feats.
    Iniesta scored in the World Cup final because everybody seems to forget he was injured for half a season.
    However, Messi deserves it in a way but I reckon he will have plenty of other chances. Double winner of the FIFA Ballon D'or at 23, that' s just spectacular!

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 9:15pm on 11 Jan 2011, Tsivoman wrote:

    To all Messi haters, this was an individual award not team award and as such Messi deserves it. Individually as the accolade represents, neither Sneider, Xavi, Iniesta or any other player for that matter has achieved what Messi has achieved in 2010 and the below individual awards will confirm.

    Messi:
    La Liga Foreign Player of the Year - (2010)
    La Liga Ibero-American Player of the Year - (2010)
    La Liga Player of the Year - (2010)
    La Liga top goalscorer - (2009 - 2010)
    FC Barcelona top goalscorer - (2009 - 2010)
    European Golden Shoe - (2009 - 2010)
    UEFA Champions League top goalscorer - (2009 - 2010)
    Footballer of the Year of Argentina - (2010)

    Sneider:
    FIFA World Cup Silver medal - (2010)

    Xavi:
    Prince of Asturias Awards - (2010)
    Premi Catalunya de l’Esport - (2010)
    FIFA World Cup losers(silver) medal - (2010)

    Iniesta:
    Prince of Asturias Awards - (2010)
    FIFA world Cup winners medal - (2010)

    Surely based on the above INDIVIDUAL accolades/awards for 2010, Messi deserves the FIFA Ballon D'Or award. By the way, Inter Milan as a collective and with Mourinho's tactics won a treble not because Sneider was the most oustanding player.
    Messi won fair and square, accept it and let's look forward to the star of 2011.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 9:19pm on 11 Jan 2011, Tsivoman wrote:

    My bad, the FIFA World Cup loser's(silver) medal was meant for Sneider not Xavi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 9:21pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    Xavi didn't get a 'losers' medal, he won it with Spain! Don't forget Sneijder was voted champions league midfielder of the tournament, a position shared by Messi ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 9:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, Tsivoman wrote:

    180(Matt)
    Note my correction in post 179.
    Champions League midfielder of the tournament, does that justify why Sneider should have won the FIFA Ballon D'Or "INDIVIDUAL" award?

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 9:32pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    Yes, I've noticed it now. I hadn't refreshed my page at the time. No I was just saying you missed it off your very impressive list of awards. While Messi is a great individual talent, I do feel the likes of Xavi's and Sneijder's work (mostly Xavi) goes unnoticed as it is the goal scorers that grab the headlines.

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 9:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, Tsivoman wrote:

    Since this is a 2010 calendar award, what ever happened to Sneijder, Forlan and the likes of Thomas Muller after the one-month(FIFA World Cup) tournament? So much for 12 months consistancy.
    Messi winning it brings back what the award stands for. Fabio Cannavaro winning it in 2006 because he was the world cup winner with Italy was an insult to all football fans and players alike.

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 9:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, Jack Bradshaw wrote:

    Talk that the wrong man won is absurd. Read my take at http://jackbradshaw.blogspot.com/2011/01/ballon-dor-winner-spot-on.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 10:07pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    @183.
    If you are basing it on the months after the world cup, then why aren't we talking about Ronaldo? I believe he has scored more than Messi? In a team that lacks the same technical ability as Barcalona. Surely he should of won?

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 10:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    hahaha come off it. Over 2010 Messi scored more than ronaldo, he also has a great deal more assists, better quality goals. Look at ronaldos recent goals, its not as if he doesnt get good service, how many times has he been left with a simple tap in or a penalty kick?

    I think he could easily have been in the top 3, but to win it? not a chance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 10:28pm on 11 Jan 2011, General wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 188. At 10:31pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    I didn't say over 2010 did I? I said in the months after the world cup. In my opinion Ronaldo is a better player to watch. Greater arsenal of skills, deadly free kicks, great physical attributes, good in the air etc. Just my opinion. Furthermore the amount of goals he has scored in a team not as good as Barcelona just supplements his qualities. But each to there own.

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 10:43pm on 11 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    no it doesnt, hes had goals put on a plate for him by di maria, ozil, alonso etc, they're not exactly poor players are they? added to that hes scored 4 penalties more this season!

    By skills you mean step overs ofcourse, free kicks? the free kicks he 9 times out of 10 hammers straight into the wall.

    Hes outstanding, but i think you've got a bit of a warped view, same goes for his physical attributes, for a big guy he goes down very easily, i see messi ride tackles and stay on his feet far more than i do CR7.

    Like i said, well worthy of being in the top 3, hes clearly the second best player in the world for me, but to win it? no chance, for a start he didnt actually win the league, messi dragged barca at times during the season, especially when ibrahimovic stopped scoring and they were heavily reliant on his goals.

    But respect your opinion all the same

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 10:46pm on 11 Jan 2011, General wrote:

    The world’s best player will be awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year. It is presented to the player who had been considered to have performed the best over the previous calendar year - this award is not about who won the World Cup/Champions League or most medals. It is purely simple - who is the best performing player in the past year - simples.

    Who can say this was not Messi? - the best player by far we have seen in the past decade let alone last year!

    The club stats for these 3 players and Sneijder:

    2009–10 Matches Goals Assists
    Messi 58 49 11
    Xavi 57 6 19
    Iniesta 34 1 7
    Sneijder 43 9 12

    So Iniesta and Xavi were part of the World Cup Winning team and are no doubt legends in their own right but come on - how can you not give the award Messi when he scored sooooooo many goals including a hat-trick of hat-tricks with 4 goals against Arsenal in the Champions League - how the hell can you not give him the award!!! He not only scores but also creates. In terms of dribbling he beats the others hands down and scored the most goals (breath taking strikes included) and was second only in assists to Xavi. Who can say Messi was not the best? Come on who are you kidding here - face reality - MESSI was the best by far.

    No-one deserved the award more than Messi - end of! He is pure magic/fantastic!

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 10:50pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    It's just my view that Barca have a greater attacking force, therefore naturally supplying Messi with numerous chances a game. While Messi seems to keep the ball to his foot like glue, that's pretty much it. Ronaldo entertains. It's just a personal preference, I prefer watching him, it's more exciting. With regards to physique Ronaldo is quicker, faster, stronger etc. He will also score more free kicks a season than Messi. While Lio does score lots of goals, they don't always need them to win games. Whereas Ronaldo regularly gets match winners. For instance without his hatrick, madrid would of only had 1 point instead of 3 this past weekend. Don't forgot this is only his second season in La Liga, Messi was bought up in that league, he has not yet to adpat. Not been out of his comfort zone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 11:23pm on 11 Jan 2011, bob_loblaw wrote:

    I agree with many of the comments that Xavi or Inesta should have won, with my personal preference of that latter. However, to use the criteria of having won the world cup as the only basis to be deserving of the award is absurd. Lets face it Spain are so much better than everyone else that they still would have won without these two with Alonso and Cesc duly slotting in. Messi was in a team where a championship player at the time in Jonás Gutiérrez played every game and the coach was, well lets face it, not all there.

    Some objectivity in this article would be fair, Messi won the European golden boot and scored 60 goals in all competitions last year. Come on people let the ludicrous Messi bashing decease.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 11:27pm on 11 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    hmm, again i disagree, ronaldo played football in a latin country until the age of 18. its not as if its completely foreign to him. He'll score more free kicks because he'll hit WAAAAAY more free kicks.

    I also dont agree about barca players creating more chances for him, he plays deeper than ronaldo, hes had less than half the shots ronaldo has had, but he only has about 10 less shots in target, which suggests he doesnt go for goal nearly as often, but he is much more accurate.

    Messi is faster in short bursts because hes smaller, over a distance ronaldo is rapid, definitely faster. I still dont think hes stronger, he goes down too easily.

    Yeah mate its personal preference :) Messi is my favourite kind of player, great control, mazy dribbles, quickly changing direction, defence splitting passes, quick link up play etc etc. Respect :-D

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 11:43pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    192. At 11:23pm on 11 Jan 2011, bob_loblaw wrote:

    I agree with many of the comments that Xavi or Inesta should have won, with my personal preference of that latter. However, to use the criteria of having won the world cup as the only basis to be deserving of the award is absurd. Lets face it Spain are so much better than everyone else that they still would have won without these two with Alonso and Cesc duly slotting in. Messi was in a team where a championship player at the time in Jonás Gutiérrez played every game and the coach was, well lets face it, not all there.

    Some objectivity in this article would be fair, Messi won the European golden boot and scored 60 goals in all competitions last year. Come on people let the ludicrous Messi bashing decease.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alonso played in the World Cup alongside Xavi and Busqets in midfield. Cesc is touted as being Xavi's natural replacement but even Spain would struggle if they lost both of them for a long period.

    As for Argentina, I have to agree that Maradona should take much of the blame, he left Cambiasso and Zanetti on the back of them winning the UCL, but they were still no mugs. Ok, so Guiterez played but they still had a UCL winner - Milito, a Euorpa League winner - Aguero, a regular Real starter - Higuan, Tevez, Di Maria and of course Messi. Evidence of what they can do against top opposition was shown with their 4-1 drubbing of Spain in September.

    I don't think winning the World Cup is the only rationale for the comments. I think it is because Xavi and Iniesta contributed as much as Messi did domestically but then also went on to win the World Cup as well. Great team or not, they still started all seven games.

    Personally, I still think Messi deserved it but I can also see why others would state the above point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 11:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    True :P both are natural born finishers really. I think Ronaldo going down easily is typical of the modern game and I admire Messi for staying on his own two feet. I just love Ronaldo's raw power, pace and skill :D But until Messi plays a team with the physicality of the likes of stoke, where all the players are 6ft+ and holds his own, then I'll rate his physical attributes. Would love to see him in the EPL. No doubt Messi is more of a team player. Both are great to watch, just happens we prefer the opposite to each other :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 11:59pm on 11 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    195. At 11:45pm on 11 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    True :P both are natural born finishers really. I think Ronaldo going down easily is typical of the modern game and I admire Messi for staying on his own two feet. I just love Ronaldo's raw power, pace and skill :D But until Messi plays a team with the physicality of the likes of stoke, where all the players are 6ft+ and holds his own, then I'll rate his physical attributes. Would love to see him in the EPL. No doubt Messi is more of a team player. Both are great to watch, just happens we prefer the opposite to each other :)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm pretty sure the last time Ronaldo faced Stoke, he had a hissy fit and lashed out on Andy Wilkinson for marking him out of the game. He was lucky to not be sent off. A few minutes later Wilkinson was dismissed for a tackle on Ronaldo, who shouldn't have even been on the pitch.

    Ronaldo could never handle the physicality of the Prem and used to sulk a lot. He was just fortunate enough to have enough talent to rub his tormentors noses in it with the odd goal or ten!

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 00:04am on 12 Jan 2011, eaman wrote:

    Really any one of the three could have come away with it as they were all deserving for different reasons. Im sure Messi's 47 goals last season and 28 so far this season was the reason he won it. also he performed as well as Xavi and Iniesta in the world cup. he was incredibly unlucky not to score and had four or five assists. While Sneijder had a very good season inter winning was mainly down to mourinhos boring tactics and i know he scored 5 in the world cup but i thought Messi played better in his games. Sneijder finished his chances well but didnt dominate his games the way messi did

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 00:05am on 12 Jan 2011, harriotts wrote:

    Here in Palmers Green, we have nothing against Messi winning the Ballon d'Or. Lets be honest he is the worlds most exciting player. However with that said, Xavi and Inesta won the world cup, and not forgetting Sneijder who almost won everything.
    Messi is simply the worlds best player and would shine in any team, including Spains world cup side or last years Inter side.

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 00:09am on 12 Jan 2011, Joy wrote:

    ha ha! the CRon fan club is back! No shame i guess.. even after the clear difference in class in the El Classico! Ronaldo did a grave mistake by moving to Madrid as he has to play against Messi at least twice a year and that just exposes the difference of class! Even Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Sneider and Eto are better than Ronaldo!

    And about EPL, just have a look at Messi's performances against the EPL biggies in CL, they were scampering for cover!

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 00:15am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    @ Ryan
    The last time Ronaldo was in the prem he faced teams like stoke week in week out and demolished them. I think what you don't realise is that he is one of the strongest players there is. He has to be, as teams like stoke, single him out as a threat. If he weren't up to the physical challenge he wouldn't score as many goals as he does and would find himself needing medical assistance a lot more. The fact you say he never could handle the physicality of the prem completely contradicts the actual facts. It's just that teams felt the need to kick him to death to stop him from scoring. Observe him closely and maybe you'll appreciate his raw power more.

    Like this bit though 'He was just fortunate enough to have enough talent to rub his tormentors noses in it with the odd goal or ten!' :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 00:26am on 12 Jan 2011, RooneysDeftTouch wrote:

    So, FIFA place two spaniards in the final three, and in return either one misses out by only a small amount. Then, people think it's "unjust" that Messi won the award. 60 goals in one calender year by a single player does not happen every year - that is special. Finally, these two Spaniards must have missed the World Cup up to the semi-final because up until then they were poor and only got to the later stages on pure technique alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 00:28am on 12 Jan 2011, be the hokey wrote:

    Incredible that so many people commenting here don't recognise that Messi is simply far and away the best player around, and will probably be remembered alongside Di Stefano, Pele & Maradona as the best there ever has been.

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 00:28am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ Matt,

    When I say he couldn't handle it, I meant mentally not physically. He wouldn't take to the field in the first place if he wasn't physically up to the challenge. Every player in the Prem is, even Peter Crouch, which accounts for the success of English teams in the UCL. My point was that teams like Stoke knew how to get to him and that is a weakness. In El Classico this season, Real kicked lumps out of Messi and he didn't reacted. Instead, he produced a masterclass and ripped them to shreds!

    You never knew how Ronaldo would react. On some occasions he would react like a petulant child, on others he would react like a Ballon D'or winner and win the game. I appreciate his raw power and talent but he's not the first talented player to be singled out and he won't be the last.

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 00:39am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    @Ryan

    If you think Crouch is a physical player then you really don't have a clue. Clearly a Ronnie hater. I appreciate Messi and his talents. But he wouldn't cope too well in the Prem. He's nice and bubble wrapped in la liga, where no physical team will hurt him, unlike the Prem. Ronaldo has experienced the premier league and is now a better player because of it. I bet he thinks the la liga is a doddle! He won't be hit upon like he was in England, that's for sure. Lets throw Messi into a game against stoke, I'd love to see how he handles it. All you have to do is look at the likes of Essien, Ivanovic, Delap, Davies et al and you'll notice how much bigger they are compared to the players in Spain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 00:40am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    If he was mentally weak, he wouldn't be a professional footballer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 00:47am on 12 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    the premier league really is over-rated in that sense.

    Messi's been kicked up and down spain, hes also had it in the champions league. He'd cope fine in the premier league, if anything he might have an easier time against bigger and far less mobile defenders.

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 00:49am on 12 Jan 2011, jhwalker wrote:

    All three are great players but for me Messi is the most gifted. Xavi and Iniesta are invaluable for Barcelona but the stuff Messi does with the ball is on another planet. Furthermore the season he had with Barcelona was unreal.

    I feel bad for players like Sneijder, Schweinsteiger and Robben. Each of them is definitely worthy of some recognition.

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 00:51am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    Less mobile? The prem is the fastest league in the world! There are less teams competing at the top in La Liga. In England we have the big 4. In Spain, there are only 2 real contenders. I think the most physical team Messi has faced in the UCL is Arsenal, where Arsne Wenger complains that Stoke in particular are too physcial and his players need 'protecting'

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 00:51am on 12 Jan 2011, quackserfortune wrote:

    Can't believe this article questioning the merit of Messi being bestowed the award of best player in the world. The guy is sensational, just look at any of thr multitude of videos on Youtube, he's bt far and away the best player of our generation. Having said that, Xavi and Iniesta are stupendously good too, and both could make a claim for this years award, in their positions they are peerless (check out Xavi's pass completion ratio in the most recent Classico, it beggars belief).
    But week in, week out, Messi has consistently shown why he is deserving of the accolade: Best Player in the World.
    Messi would be the first to recognise that he is part of an extraordinary team, without which he wouldn't be the player he is.
    Appreciate this Barcelona team, we won't see their likes for a long, long time

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 00:53am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @Matt,

    The Crouch comment was a joke hehe. Sorry, I thought you'd sense the sarcasm

    You also chose to completely ignore Real kicking lumps out Messi.

    I also never said Ronaldo was mentally weak. I said he had a volatile nature when reacting to the physicality of the Prem.

    And why does it matter how big players? It doesn't affect Lennon, Nasri, Walcott, Cesc, etc.

    Any player can be physical even if they are small. Playing against Mascherano is hardly a walk in the park.

    And didn't Yaya Toure play their last season. Puyol likes a tackle as well.

    It doesn't matter how physical a team are, it's how an opposing player handles it. And didn't I say that Ronaldo did handle it on occasion but on other occasions he didn't??

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 00:55am on 12 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    the big 4?

    Man Utd are going to run away with that league and they're not even playing particularly well. Its no surprise madrid and barca are the 2 main contenders, they've got by far the 2 best squads, barca because they've got so many talented players from la masia, Madrid because they've spent millions in an attempt to catch them up.

    Yes, i mean anyone who thinks messi would struggle against the likes of shawcross, bramble and gary caldwell its surely having a laugh. He ghosted past chelsea defenders at stamford bridge when he was barely 18 years old, he ghosted past Utd's players at old trafford as a 20 year old, he demolished arsenal last season. He wouldnt struggle, like i said, he rides tackles better than ronaldo in spain so i see no reason he wouldnt ride them better than ronaldo in england. Unless they plan to break his legs they wont stop him because they wont get near him

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 01:00am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    208. At 00:51am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    Less mobile? The prem is the fastest league in the world! There are less teams competing at the top in La Liga. In England we have the big 4. In Spain, there are only 2 real contenders. I think the most physical team Messi has faced in the UCL is Arsenal, where Arsne Wenger complains that Stoke in particular are too physcial and his players need 'protecting'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Arsenal physical? That's almost as sarcastic as my Crouch comment. I'm sure Messi has played against Chelsea and Man Utd in recent seasons, including a certain UCL final which he scored in???

    But Man Utd have got nothing on Stoke!

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 01:01am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    It's late and I'm susceptible to being slow :P. Big doesn't affect them. I just stated that Ronaldo is stronger than Messi and I feel Messi would struggle in the Prem. All the players you have listed have had injuries due to the nature of the Premier League. With regards to Yaya and Puyol, well they have both played for Barca, so I doubt Messi would be on the receiving end of a challenge from them. But if you match up the defenders from Spain to the ones from England you will notice a difference. Purely because the game in Spain is more technical, therefore defenders have to be clever, in the Prem they have to be at there best physically as we have the quickest and strongest league in the world. Messi would definitely need some conditioning before considering a move to England. Ronaldo was built for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 01:04am on 12 Jan 2011, quackserfortune wrote:

    To round off my point properly. The current Barcelona team are the best team I've ever seen, magnificent, and Messi just about shades it as their best player, ergo, he's the best in the world.
    Barcelona will utterly destroy Arsenal in the Champions League, and any other English team they are lucky enough to draw

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 01:07am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ Matt:

    "All the players you have listed have had injuries due to the nature of the Premier League"

    so players in La Liga never get injured?

    "With regards to Yaya and Puyol, well they have both played for Barca, so I doubt Messi would be on the receiving end of a challenge from them"

    I was referring to Ronaldo facing them now he is in La Liga

    "we have the quickest and strongest league in the world. Messi would definitely need some conditioning before considering a move to England. Ronaldo was built for it"

    See 211 and 212. But I guess you're gonna say that they 'adapt' their game for the UCL



    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 01:09am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    214. At 01:04am on 12 Jan 2011, quackserfortune wrote:

    To round off my point properly. The current Barcelona team are the best team I've ever seen, magnificent, and Messi just about shades it as their best player, ergo, he's the best in the world.
    Barcelona will utterly destroy Arsenal in the Champions League, and any other English team they are lucky enough to draw

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Spurs will run them close with a 10 all aggregate score in the QFs, then lose on pens ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 01:09am on 12 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 218. At 01:10am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    I think you fail to realise the tactics the english teams will adopt to defuse his threat. Constantly taking hits from teams like stoke, bolton, wigan etc week in week out? He won't cope. The lad had to have injections to help him grow! It's just the fact that he's not built to deal with these problems, through no fault of his own. Makes me laugh how you seem to think players won't get near him. Getting near him is easy, getting the ball is the hard part. For which they would use the same method they used to try and get the ball off Ronnie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 01:12am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @Matt,

    Ok, Ronaldo is a demi-god and Messi is a mere mortal. Why didn't you just say that 2 hours ago and we could have all gone to bed?? I feel stupid now!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 01:14am on 12 Jan 2011, quackserfortune wrote:

    Wow, people still think the EPL is the best league in the world :) The same mentality that reckoned England stood a good chance of doing well in the World Cup. The English League is weak. Kick and rush and physical strength and fitness is what the EPL is all about. I repeat. Barcelona will HAMMER Arsenal/Manchester United/Spurs/ Chelsea if they are drawn against them in the Champions league

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 01:17am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    @Ryan

    You clearly know everything and i am sorry to question your intelligence. What teams in La Liga are built on speed? We have Arsenal, Tottenham, Villa etc. I believe Spurs took Inter to the cleaners? It's not because they played well technically, but because of their condition and the way they play. Oh and can't say i've heard of a leg break in spain because of a wreckless challenge. Eduardo and Ramsey remind you of anything? Seems to me Ronnie is having a jollie. How many goals has he scored in how many games?

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 01:18am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ quackersfortune,

    My last comment was a joke by the way!

    @ licecapades,

    exactly what I mean. Cheers

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 01:23am on 12 Jan 2011, Matt wrote:

    So you're on about his temperament when I brought up his ability to cope physically. Good one :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 01:33am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ Matt,

    and I repeat, every player in the Prem can cope physically. When was the last time a player took his ball and went home because he felt bullied?

    You were questioning whether Messi, with his slight stature, can cope with physicality of the Prem in the same way Ronaldo did. I, and a few others, felt that on occasion Ronaldo didn;t cope well with the physical side of the Prem. They wasn't in any way suggesting did have the physical stature to do so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 01:39am on 12 Jan 2011, be the hokey wrote:

    Matt! Ryan!!


    GET A ROOM!

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 01:39am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ Matt,

    Ronaldo is class and will be for a long time. I was actually disappointed when he left Utd. I enjoyed watching him play. He was a special player.

    Saying that, I personally think Messi is a better all round player. Can he cope in the Prem?? We'll prob never know unless City become a European force, because they're the only team who could afford to buy him.

    Nice talking to you

    Goodnight :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 01:41am on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ be the hokey

    lol. We're actually sitting next to each other ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 01:42am on 12 Jan 2011, be the hokey wrote:

    LOL

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 01:48am on 12 Jan 2011, quackserfortune wrote:

    @ Matt
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sJhh-YcvbU
    This happens every week for Messi in La Liga, but the guy has class.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 05:55am on 12 Jan 2011, rohansinghdia wrote:

    Quite an year for the Spanish duo indeed.. and as much as I would like Xavi to have been receiving this one, i'm not complaining with the result. Cheers!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 06:09am on 12 Jan 2011, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    I can understand the Spanish dissapointment. If polls were done in England Rooney would come up on top, in the Ivory Coast Drogba is the best player in the world, and in Korea Park is. That is not to take away anything from Iniesta and Xavi who are both great players, but it is increasing becomming evident that Messi is getting better than them in what they do best. Nowadays Messi starts almost every move that leads to a Barca goal when he is playing, receives the ball back, dribbles and makes the killer pass himself, or scores. Messi is simply the best player on the planet right now, and has been for the past two years.

    Sneijder, I don't understand what people see that I don't. How exactly was he outstanding last season? OK, he scored some free kicks. But was he outstanding? Is he anywhere near the 'best player in the world'? For me no. Messi scored a more spectacular free kick than Sneijder has ever scored last Saturday, and is likely score a more spectacular goal than Sneijder has ever scored this comming Saturday. Messi has probably scored more goals in a season than Sjeijder has scored in his best three. There is no comparisn. Sorry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 06:24am on 12 Jan 2011, seventeenth wrote:

    Post No. 4 hit the nail on the head. Iniesta's severe lack of moral fiber should have ruled him out of such a competition

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 06:49am on 12 Jan 2011, Nicbcn wrote:

    I've been fortunate enough to see all of Barça's games in 2010 as well as the Spain and Argentina matches at the World Cup. While Xavi and Iniesta are both splendid players who deserve all the praise they get, Leo Messi is quite simply in another class all of his own. Individual awards should not be given for team successes and less so when that success is in international football. The "unwritten rule" that in a World Cup year a player from the winning country should win seems to me to be grossly unfair as it rules out the chance for players born in countries that have no chance of winning it.
    There is a good article at barcacentral, a Barça fan blog - http://barcacentral.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/who-should-win-the-ballon-dor/

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 08:24am on 12 Jan 2011, krapp365 wrote:

    The responses on this blog goes to show how many people know nothing about football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 08:27am on 12 Jan 2011, Showboat65 wrote:

    Messi is the most dangerous footballer in the game with the ball at his feet. He is the hottest commodity at Barcelona and had one hell of a season!

    I watched it, and I don't know where this Phil character has got that he looked surprised and embarrassed, that's just farcical journalism.

    My only surprise was that Iniesta had more votes than Xavi. Iniesta is by far one of the most unmorale players professionally and whether instructed by his managers to do so or not, goes down like a ton of bricks has landed on him at the slightest graze of an opposing player. His diving and constant play acting in the world cup for me was so shambolic that it undoes all his skill and talent!

    The award should be for all round performance, professionalism, entertainment factor, skill and talent. Not who won trophies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 09:13am on 12 Jan 2011, Slimane wrote:

    As a Barca fan and with a great respect to all of them ,I mean the Trio..Yes Xavi and Inieasta have been great all season even fantastic...but putting them in the some scale as Messi is wrong and I don't even understand how you are putting this question on,as far as I 'm concerned he's one of the best foot-baller ever and I 'm sure there is more ballons d'or for him to come .Foot-ball is not judged for the trophies ,the best player is all about being the best and there is no one like him in this planet right now...simple end of the story...and please stop moaning about England lost to host of the world cup..we all know they deserve it so did Paris deserve to host the Olympics as well...
    England is not the only country in the world ..and Russa never organised it before ..so give them a chance.. Messi the Fifa got it spot on and he's up there to be compared to Pele,Maradona or Zidane or even better ?


    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 09:27am on 12 Jan 2011, Council Juice wrote:

    I think in term of overall success on the pitch in the last year there can only be one real winner and he wasn't on the final 3 shortlist.

    Where Iniesta and Xavi were key parts of a world conquering Spain squad and Messi was again showing he is probably the best attacking player in the world right now in terms of talent, I would say the person that deserves it most in terms of achievements on the pitch is Wesley Sneijder.

    As well as playing a key part in a domestic double in Italy, Sneijder also played an integral part in the Inter side that conquered Europe against the odds which on route stifled the attackin nous of the team who the 3 finalists play for.

    Not only this he also helped his country reach the Final in South Africa playing some very good football along the way. Whilst the final may have decended into a farce it could be said his performance against Brazil was arguably one of the best individual displays in the tournament.

    Messi is in my mind without doubt the best player of his generation and Xavi and Iniesta are not far behind but if looking at the influence of one player on not 1, but 2 teams, both probably considered underdogs in their respective major tournaments, then Wesley Sneijder gets my vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 09:47am on 12 Jan 2011, jem wrote:

    it's not like winning a trophy, it's just a pub discussion.

    fifa is a joke and their awards are worthless.

    I don't remember having a discussion about scholes, giggs and keane 10 years ago. remarkably, beckham came second in 1999. proving that media hype is more immportant than talent. nothing much has changed on that front.

    maybe scholes will get a lifetime award, eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 09:54am on 12 Jan 2011, Chris91 wrote:

    I feel that Messi deserved to win, despite the incredible performances Iniesta and Xavi had throughout their domestic and international campaigns. Look at Messi's scoring stats! Obviously, he needs team mates to aid him in scoring so many goals, but Messi has the ability to create goals out of nothing, without Xavi or Iniesta's contribution, something that was proven correct several times this year. Even though he did not score in the World Cup, it was quite clear that he was able to create goal scoring opportunities almost single-handedly. With that said, I wish Iniesta and Xavi all the best and hope they keep up the good work because it is mesmerising to watch those two play no matter who they're up against!

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 10:16am on 12 Jan 2011, Dan wrote:

    This award is based on the whole of 2010, not just the World Cup.

    Messi's goals per game ratio and general play in 2010 was amazing.

    I think Iniesta and Xavi have suffered from the fact that every member of that Spain team played well, neither really stood out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 10:28am on 12 Jan 2011, Pumslee wrote:

    It's pretty difficult to choose among the trio, but by his pedigree, Leo could just have won it. As Leo himself admitted that he didn't expect to win, largely because of the wide media speculation of the Spannish duo, I would agree with him (to some degree)that he probably shouldn't have won. I personally would have though Iniesta should have won it, and I'm surprised that Sneijder didn't even make it among the nominees for the award. So what criteria is used to choose the deserving player? I think such platforms as the World Cup, UEFA Champions League success and league performances should influence the decision. By these standards, Sneijder might well have won it, had he been nominated, no insult to Messi.

    Some comments that Xavi and Andres were a part of a well-established Spannish team and could be ruled out on that basis can't go without critism. Because by the same criterion, Messi was a shadow of himself at the WC. He seems to shine at Barcelona, but his perfomance for the country is usually below par. Could it be that he's a member of a well-established Barcelona side? Why can't he translate his Barca exploits for his national side? Or could it be that the style of football Argentina plays is more Real Madrid than Barcelona, so that his team mates cannot fully read his game? Needless to say, Leo is indeed a great player. He was voted the best, and history can't be annulled.

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 11:00am on 12 Jan 2011, jojoz77 wrote:

    @ jimmyel

    "...it was iniesta's absence that cost barca the champions league...don't think he featured v inter when messi was anonymous as he was v chelsea in the previous season when iniesta also rescued barca"

    No my friend, it was Master tacticians Hiddink and Mourinho that undid Barcelona and, in Hiddink's case, the referee not Iniesta that rescued them.

    Also, Spain were extremely lucky to scrape through top of their (very average) group in the WC (by goal difference). A shame really because had they played under Aragones rather than Del Bosque I think it would have been a Spanish World Cup to savour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 11:26am on 12 Jan 2011, lordgunner wrote:

    simple if the ballon d or was in the old format (football journalist around europe voting only)Xavi would have won it.But saying Messi doesnt deserve too is plain stupid.I suppose this year both players should have won.If one of Xavi or Iniesta only were in the final voting i suppose one the spaniard would have won ahead of Messi but having two have split the voting and Messi won it.

    And people stop blaming FIFA ,its actually a join award between two trophy to make one the "France Football Balon D or" and the "FIFA player of the year" to make simple and voting by coach,captain of national team and major football journalist not by Blatter and his comrade fromm FIFA

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 11:33am on 12 Jan 2011, Giggs' Left Peg wrote:

    I think if you look at all 3 players objectively there is no question Messi has been the best footballer on the planet in 2010 - is that not what this award is for?

    Going for sentiment, Xavi should have got it and going off the World Cup i think Iniesta or Sneijder should have got it.

    I think the main travesty is that Sneijder didn't get in the top 3. Won the domestic treble with his club and inspired his national team to the WC final earning the golden boot jointly in the process. What more could he have done apart from win the world cup?

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 11:36am on 12 Jan 2011, i hate sepp blatter wrote:

    he scored over 60 goals for club and country in 2010...... of course he deserved it

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 11:55am on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    YES he did deserve it. But Xavi and Iniesta did too. The thing is the trophy is Barcas trophy again. Its another testament to FC Barcelonas outstanding philosophy and academy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 247. At 12:33pm on 12 Jan 2011, Jau wrote:

    id go with the man that was a big part in:

    winning the champions league
    winning the italian league
    winning the italian cup
    getting to the final of the world cup, along with being joint top goalscorer at the world cup.

    but well..what do i know hey!?

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 12:43pm on 12 Jan 2011, tgbutd wrote:

    Whats with all there cries. Best player of the 3 was Messi. If it was on achievements then it would have been one of the other two. I admire how humble Messi is. More like kaka. They are truly a blessing to this greedy modern game. Its unfortunate that Xavi doesnt score many goals because he is an exceptional midfielder. Should be honoured for his contributions. As long as Messi and Ronaldo are in such sterling scoring form it would be hard for anyone to win the award. Lets face it these two guys have that extra bit of skill. Iniesta may get his opportunity if he improves his goal scoring prowess.

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 1:20pm on 12 Jan 2011, Dusk1983 wrote:

    Those claiming Messi isn't subjected to strong, physical opposition play in La Liga - please watch a game or two before opening your mouths!

    Plenty of players are sent out target him but have learnt over the last few years it is largely futile. His centre of gravity is so low and his legs are so short, quick & powerful that, even in full flight, he can - literally - be unchallengable, riding tackles that would seriously injure any other player.

    Ramos and Carvalho, two of the world's finest defenders, spent the second half of El Classico blatantly trying to "reduce" him, and failed miserably.

    It really, really doesn't bear thinking about what lumbering oafs such as Shawcross and Bramble would end up resorting to. Either they'd (a) freeze in fear, or more likely (b) lunge in clumsily and concede a penalty inside the first 5 minutes!

    If Barcelona were to play in the Premier League, not only would every side ship a terrifying amount of goals, they'd each lose 2 or 3 players to suspension as a result of every fixture. It'd end up Barca vs. EPL Under 21s!

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 1:26pm on 12 Jan 2011, Liamjm wrote:

    Messi is best player in world so he is a worthy winner for me! 37 goals last season says it all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 1:51pm on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Dusk1983...spot on.

    Saw this link someone posted. It sums up Messi. Fantastic skill and great honour and determination. The best there is...worthy winner.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sJhh-YcvbU

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 1:53pm on 12 Jan 2011, Paul wrote:

    The truth is that I should have won the Ballon d'Or for my performances on my local 5-a-side pitch. Trouble is, the professionals were all too busy making wads of cash to come and watch.

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 1:53pm on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Jay V C...

    winning the champions league
    winning the italian league
    winning the italian cup

    yeh Mourinho and his dark arts did get the trophy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 1:54pm on 12 Jan 2011, thabootifulgame wrote:

    its just a realm pity xavi will never recieve the award, when he has been a influential player for yers and puts the magic into every game he plays, a truely exciting playmaker!

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 1:55pm on 12 Jan 2011, d3v3n wrote:

    Although Messi is a great player, so is Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi, Sniejder, Rooney, Gerrard, Torres etc.. but why Messi won the award is questionable.

    The winner should have been selected based on what they had achieved. And with those thoughts the winner should have been Sneijder...

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 2:00pm on 12 Jan 2011, Paul wrote:

    On a more serious note, does it really matter?

    I'm pretty sure if you gave Xavi and Iniesta the choice between a World Cup winner's medal or the Ballon d'Or I know which one they'd choose. The same goes for Sneijder - Ballon d'Or or Champions League?

    And the winner, Messi - I bet he'd love to exchange his Ballon d'Or award for a World Cup winners medal.

    Sure it's a nice award, but it's no big deal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 2:02pm on 12 Jan 2011, ed wrote:

    For me, Messi, who was already the best player in the world at the start of this year, progressed onto another level over the last 12 months. Even though it was only for Barcelona and not for Argentina, you have to agree that he personally added an incredible spectacle to World Football. Every time i watched a game of his on tv (which was quite often) you wouldn't bet against him scoring a hat-trick of beautifully crafted solo efforts or team goals in which he would be a central creative figure.

    Xavi and Iniesta are a great pairing. And both offer a lot individually. Their passing ranges are insane. Their vision is something else. But on a week in, week out basis, they have not been as consistant as Lionel over the past 12 months.

    On a personal note, i think of past Balllon d'Or winners like Zidane and Ronaldinho who were outstanding. Both incredibly artistic, beautiful and effective players. Messi is in that category. If Messi had been sidelined with injury for the past 12 months, ok Xavi or Iniesta could have stepped in to claim the award. But Messi is a true great. He's up there with Pele.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 2:03pm on 12 Jan 2011, kabaja wrote:

    I THINK DE END OF BARCELONA, MONKEY D WORK SOMETHING DE CHOP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 2:09pm on 12 Jan 2011, Alex Winter wrote:

    To say if it was a wrong decision, one thing needs to be answered; What is the criteria for this award? Is it overall skill, or success at a club/world level? In my mind, the three finalists were definitely wrong anyway. Messi and Ronaldo are the most skillful players out there, by a long way. But in terms of success, Messi and Ronaldo, although individually brilliant for both club and country, didn't win either the champions league or World Cup. Without a doubt, Wesley Sneijder should have won this award (if the criteria was leading a team to success). He led Inter to European success, and he led the Netherlands to the World Cup Final (and it was more of a shock for them to be there, than the Spaniards). In my book, on skill, the order is Ronaldo, Messi, Xavi. However on influence of the game for 2010, it is Sneijder, Iniesta, Xavi.
    I think Ronaldo is extremely hard-done by that noone has been throwing out his name as unlucky to not be in the final 3. Anyone with half a brain can see he is immensely talented, even more-so as he is not playing alongside these other players.

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 2:15pm on 12 Jan 2011, kabaja wrote:

    NO XAVI, NO MESSI BLVI ME. WATCH AGERNTINA TEAM.U GET 2 UNDERSTAND ME MORE.

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 2:28pm on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    260. At 2:15pm on 12 Jan 2011, kabaja wrote:
    NO XAVI, NO MESSI BLVI ME. WATCH AGERNTINA TEAM.U GET 2 UNDERSTAND ME MORE.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Que Pasa?

    Anyway, forget Messi. Where is the blog about the injustice of Phil Taylor not winning the SPOTY? AP looked very surprised that it wasn't Phil!

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 3:10pm on 12 Jan 2011, ArronD wrote:

    If you were putting together a World XI, who would be the first player you would think of? Most people would say Messi. He was the best player in the world last year IMO. Nobody comes near him in terms of ability (bar maybe Ronaldo). He deserved to win it. The Spanish media's reaction makes no sense to me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 3:17pm on 12 Jan 2011, Dazz wrote:

    27. At 1:47pm on 11 Jan 2011, Amanbro wrote:
    The British public seem to think this award is for the most successful player of the year. The FIFA version of the award is based on the judgment of coaches. Let's face it, if a coach is given the choice of having any player in his team then Messi would be the first name on the team sheet.

    The Ballon D'or on the other hand is based on the judgment of journalists who (I imagine) would have gone for Xavi (or maybe Sneijder is he was on the shortlist). Iniesta would have garnered similar interest in both awards.

    Personally, I fully agree with Messi winning the award. He is so much better than anyone else (including the last 12 months). When people look back in history they would want to know who the best player in the world was (not who had a good year). He fully deserves it.

    I feel silly arguing with people who are set in their ways and too stubborn to change but I hope somebody may see sense from my comments.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Totally agree!

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 3:23pm on 12 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    "At 1:55pm on 12 Jan 2011, d3v3n wrote:
    Although Messi is a great player, so is Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi, Sniejder, Rooney, Gerrard, Torres etc.. but why Messi won the award is questionable.

    The winner should have been selected based on what they had achieved. And with those thoughts the winner should have been Sneijder... "

    --------------------------------------------------------------------


    sorry its an individual award not a 'team' award.

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 3:29pm on 12 Jan 2011, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    259# if you think ronaldo has more skill than messi, you should start watching another sport !

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 3:31pm on 12 Jan 2011, eaman wrote:

    first of all specnur. Messi won la liga didnt he and was top scorer in the champions league and was very unlucky not to score in the world cup. remember messi isnt just a goalscorer he is an unbelievable creator of goals as his 5 assists in the world cup proved. also alot of Messi's goals are created by himself. so to say he relies on xavi and iniesta all the time is rubbish. i also believe Barcelona werent at there best in the first leg against inter coz of there disrupted travel plans. there travel plans were disrupted against Osasuna this year and they looked shaky for half an hour. also inter won the champs league due to tactics more so than sneijder. he got very little touches of the ball in both legs. Messi made cesar pull off a wonder save and he also put in a pinpoint cross that bojan should have scored. Point is Messi is the best in the world

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 3:47pm on 12 Jan 2011, Sam Wanjere wrote:

    The following excerpt is perhaps where this argument can be won: "...Few pundits begrudged Jose Mourinho his honour after achieving an unprecedented treble with Inter Milan, winning the domestic league and cup double on top of the Champions League. It in no way diminishes the achievements of Vicente Del Bosque but it was broadly accepted the Spain coach took over an already established and outstanding group of players when he succeeded Luis Aragones in 2008 in the wake of the Euro 2008 triumph..."

    There are clear double standards here when comparison is made between Mourinho's award Vs Del Bosque, and Messi Vs the Spanish favorites. Both Mou and Messi share the underdog status, with their respective teams, Inter Milan and Argentina's national team, underdogs to Barcelona and Spain. The latter pair are (were) already established conquerors, while the previous two required more work, hence the enormity of their achievement.

    When it comes to Barcelona, the genius of Iniesta and Xavi is undoubted, their abilities unparalleled, yet that team's marquee player remains the Flea. He's the offensive magician who makes things happen. Things in this case are either goals or assists that lead to goals. No one player can win games by themselves, although some schools of thought would disagree (read Michael Jordan or Steven Gerrard here).

    Messi's role at Barca is understated, with excellence all round him. With Argentina his "shortcomings" also expose his strengths. When things got real bad tactically for Argentina's WC 2010 squad, all balls were thrust in Messi's direction, in the hope that he'd wave his magic wand. Spain's depth was frightening because Xavi's off day could be compensated by others (Alonso, even Iniesta).

    If it's a matter of relativity, I'd argue that Messi should win this award hands down. The one thing I'd have done in the award is tie Messi and Xavi. Xavi is on the wrong side of time and this honor to elude him now represents possibly his last chance to win it. But does it matter that much? Does the lifting of such an honor diminish a player like Xavi's greatness? I don't think so one bit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 4:16pm on 12 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    Messi deserved the ballon d'or, what i don't understand is that Fifa's recognition on English football, as that is the best league in the world. So i was supprised that i didn't any English footballer on the short list. Fifa need to wake up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 4:16pm on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    Just had a look at the contenders who were selected before the three man short list was made and was surprised to see Asamoah Gyan on there. A player who spent the 09/10 season at a mid table French team and harldy played.

    It looks like the World Cup has more of a bearing than first thought. If a player who scores three goals in the WC, two of which were pens, is nominated, then where was Robert Vittek's nomination???? He helped eliminate the holders!!

    Was this just another one of FIFA's token gestures, because the World Cup happened to be held in Africa in 2010 and Ghana were the most successful African team?? Am I missing something?

    And before anyway accuses me of any kind of prejudice, Drogba, who is also from an African nation, is also on the list and rightly so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 4:32pm on 12 Jan 2011, brian wrote:

    I don't know why people and even you Phil keeps saying Sneijder deserves to be in top 3 !! I am not saying he was not good,he deserved to be in top 5,thats it for me !! They said inter treble was because of him.I disagree..50 % of inter treble goes to Jose Mourinho,25 % goes to their defence and maybe 10 % was from Sneijder..How did inter knock out Barca in Semifial UCl ? Was it Sneijder ? NO..It was Mourinho's defensive tactics that cought Barca off-guard !! Messi, Xavi and Iniesta all deserve to be in top 3 and deserve to win the title !! Unfortunately for Xavi and Iniesta and spain it went to Messi who in my opinion deserved the title .Some said he had a bad world cup.Yes they crushed out in quarter final..his personal performance till quarter final was one of the bestin that world cup.Yes he did not score but he had few assist and he was sublime !!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 4:40pm on 12 Jan 2011, red-devilhomerjay - save 606 wrote:

    Literally anyone of the final three would have been worthy winners...for people to say Messi isn't a worthy winner is laughable, fickle media and fans with short memories i genuinely can't recall more than 4/5 games where Messi hasnt been devastating scoring and assiting goals at will. This is not to deflect from what Xavi and Ineista achieved over the year including their WC win, but this alone should not be the defining factor in awards such as this.

    As i said previously though either of the three would have been worthy winners.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 4:44pm on 12 Jan 2011, Portugal_R_Live wrote:

    Messi is amazing and he is the best along with Cristiano Ronaldo. But in a world cup year I though one of the spanish players would win it. To me sneider has had great season winning the treble and a great world cup also being joint top goal scorer and leading his country to a world cup final. I think personaly also Robben had a amazing year and he was desive throughout the season.

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 5:05pm on 12 Jan 2011, GenesisRed wrote:

    So bored of hearing about how great Barcelona are. Even more bored about hearing out great Messi is. Yes, he's a hugely talented player, capable (as many players are) of winning the game out of nothing.

    Ronaldo and Torres are two other classy examples, although they haven't lived up to the standards so much this last year.

    But more than anything, i'm hugely bored of all the superlatives thrown Iniesta's way. He's a great player, playing at a fabulous level for many years. But he's also not averse to some bambi-on-ice behaviour, as shown repeatedly AT the World Cup.

    Having watched Ronaldo be hacked to the ground repeatedly over years, and then other times watch him fall with a gust of wind, i'm perfectly familiar with seeing both happen to flair players. But in the World Cup final, he spent half the time diving to try and create an opportunity.

    It would just be nice to see a quality player win it who doesn't feel the need to dive more often than he's fouled.

    So on that basis, it would have been far better to see Xavi - the TRUE linchpin of Barcelona rather than Inesta of Messi who add the gold leaf to his master pieces - holding the award.

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 5:25pm on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    GeneseisRED. Iniesta did go down easy a couple of times in the second half. 2 things though. He´s only a wee fella and the Dutch played like thugs. The ref let them get away with urder and went unpunished time and time again so all was fair in that cauldron of bad decisions and negative violent play by the Dutch

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 5:28pm on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Sneijder is no way near as good as the shortlisted players. He has nevered excited with skill or dominated the semi of Cl or final of WC. He had few touches against Spain or Barca. Tactics, the ref decisons and ash clouds got Inter past barca not Sneijder. Mourinhos got his award for his dark arts. Outside of that the best 3 in world were rightly aclaimed. Its an honour to Barca

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 5:34pm on 12 Jan 2011, Tricefc wrote:

    Messi is a great player but suresly one of the Spaniards should have won it!

    As a few people have mentioned, whilst Iniesta and Xavi are playing together neither will win the World Player of the year...the likes of Messi or Ronaldo will always pick it up!

    Votes are split between the two as they are so hard to seperate! We never think of one alone it is always Xavi and Iniesta. If their votes were combined(as their performance on the pitch is) or if only one of the two went up for the award they would comfortably win.....

    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 5:39pm on 12 Jan 2011, Chaddyroar wrote:

    I personally would have gone for Iniesta or Sneijder.

    Sneijder is the creative and tactical lynchpin of an Inter side that won the treble, he also reached the WC final with Holland.

    Iniesta has been superb for a long time. Last year he gave object lessons in how to keep the ball and create space across all tournaments, simply untouchable in some games, he also seems to be a consumate pro and scored the goal than won the WC. He's gotta be asking what else you have to do (except perhaps win Champs League in the year).

    As it seems the WC had so much bearing on some placings on the list, it's perhaps a shame for players such as Forlan and Ozil that Barcelona/Spain and Inter/Holland had such unbelievable years. Most years their performance may merit a top 3 finish

    Hopefully English based players will do better next year. Who is likely to feature from EPL? Right now I believe Van de Vaart may be the most influential player in the league, but he will be overlooked unless Spurs get to Champs League final. If United win the League and get to the Champs League latter stages you might find Giggs or Scholes get a high finish on the 'lifetime' basis, but it's hard to see a winner that doesn't play for Barcelone right now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 5:45pm on 12 Jan 2011, jem wrote:

    performances in the world cup shouldn't count for anything. international football is rubbish.

    if I had to choose one player out of ronaldo and messi, I would take ronaldo. messi seems like a nice little guy and is making the most of his talent; ronaldo is greedy (on the ball), moody and distracted and should be more effective than he is. under me, ronaldo would be the better player. :0)

    (incidentally, in games against united, messi has been largely ineffective, beating men but without using possession wisely. iniesta and xavi generally have united chasing around, though. the only effective thing messi did was get between ferdinand and vidic (as the only man in the area) to score a header in the final - I'd put that down to shocking defending. in the semis the previous year, he wasn't a factor. also, his hair is pretty terrible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 5:47pm on 12 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    275. At 5:28pm on 12 Jan 2011, rikkirokkit wrote:

    Sneijder is no way near as good as the shortlisted players. He has nevered excited with skill or dominated the semi of Cl or final of WC. He had few touches against Spain or Barca. Tactics, the ref decisons and ash clouds got Inter past barca not Sneijder. Mourinhos got his award for his dark arts. Outside of that the best 3 in world were rightly aclaimed. Its an honour to Barca

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sneijder scored the first and assisted the third in the UCL semi final first leg against Barca. He also produced the pass of the final, which should have allowed Robben to put the game beyond Spain. Apart from that, he had very few touches!!!

    How does the old saying go 'quality not quantity'?

    As for dominating the WC final. If anyone should claim the award for the most incisive player, then Fabregas should stand head and shoulders above anyone, despite only making a subsitute appearance. He was simply awesome when he came on!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 5:49pm on 12 Jan 2011, jem wrote:

    for playing in the dutch team and under mourinho, sneijder should get the ballon noir. "it's not cheating if the referee doesn't see it"? mourinho could have played the lump in the microwave at the end of time bandits.

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 6:01pm on 12 Jan 2011, reddevils78 wrote:

    Sneijder should have been the winner thru and thru. I thought, Ronaldo won it the first time, Messi the second because they won their teams the treble. And so did Sneijder. He was brilliant this year. He also sent his team to the World Cup finals. What else could one ask more?

    Certainly, if the award were to go to an eye-pleaser as Fifa seem to have gone here then let Messi take it. But effectiveness also surely counts for something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 6:04pm on 12 Jan 2011, Martin Davis wrote:

    In a way its almost a pointless debate -they are all superb and highly influential footballers who would grace any team in any era. Any of the three would have been a deserving winner, as the closeness of the vote demonstrates. For Barca to have all 3...well!
    However, put the question another way;not who had the best season?or, who had the best World Cup? Instead ask which of them is a potential football great, fit to rank with Pele, Best, Cruyff Maradona etc, as against (simply) a very, very fine player. Then, surely there can only be one answer, Messi

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 6:24pm on 12 Jan 2011, gooner8 wrote:

    it is really difficult to decide who should have won this award, seeing as barcelona wer knocked out in the semi final of the champions league and argentina only reached the quarter final of the world cup, however messi has still had a great season, it is difficult to decide who shud win, the wons who maintain possession and provide messi with the ball or messi who is the vital goalscorer and gamewinner who is impossible to dispossess, i think that taking it into account either iniesta or xavi shud hav won it, out of those two iniesta probably wud hav got my vote, however xavi may hav just won it becos of his age and the fact that he wil not get many more opportunitis whereas iniesta is young in comparison, iniesta has been a revelation tho and the two link up brilliantlybut messi probably won on the merits of his previous seasons and it wasnt exactly the biggest mistake made in an individual honour unlike ryan giggs' pfa player of the league award in 2009 only because he was old and and he scored like one goal all season that still annoys me

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 6:41pm on 12 Jan 2011, nangesta wrote:

    Not really bothered to be honest who won as the best player in world/European football award has been comical for a while now since Thierry Henry never won. Losing out twice, once to zidane & the other to ronaldinho. Not just being an annoyed arsenal fan but how did the two mentioned players beat him on those years when both times I think you will find Henry was leading scorer (England & Europe?), leading assister (England), numerous league/cup winner (club/country) etc etc should I go on any further. Both zidane & ronaldinho those years won nothing with their clubs etc etc so they just won based on popularity their name & skills/tricks which Henry had in abundance aswell. So you tell me what more a player like Henry had to do & you moan about this year. Why wasn't a blog/review written about that Very laughable I must say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 6:54pm on 12 Jan 2011, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    No question I would have given it to Sneijder, with Xavi second, just ahead of Forlan. But I think I have different criteria than the judges. I wouldn't argue that Messi is right now the best player in the world. But to me the award should go to the player who accomplished the most. So Sneijder should get it for being the player that led his teams to the Champion's Cup and the World Cup final. Neither one of those teams were very special wihout him. Xavi for being the best player on the World Cup winner would just edge Forlan, for his European cup success and for getting his team into the World Cup semifinal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 6:59pm on 12 Jan 2011, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    Sneijder should not have been in the top three. No way. If the award was for a player who quietly does his part for the team and makes no mistakes then the Inter back 4, golie, Et'o and Milito should all get the award.

    Back to the Barcelona trio. Xavi is the weakest candidate of the three. Xavi is exceptional at keeping the ball. He turns away from challenges as if the opponents do not want the ball. This is an incredible skill to possess, however, it does not win you matches.

    Then we are left with Iniesta and Messi. Both of them specialise in the most difficult and risky part of their team's play - transitioning from keeping the ball to making a goal scoring oppotunity. This phase is requires more creativity, skill and quickness ot thought than keeping the ball. Messi does it better than Iniesta 7 out of 10 times. Then there is the most important part of the game for any team - score goals (more than your opponents score against you in any case). Messi did this 47 times last season. I don't remember how many Iniesta had but I remember deep into the season he had 1 goal. The winner therefore can only be one Messi.

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 7:10pm on 12 Jan 2011, Mourinho is God wrote:

    I can't say I'm terribly surprised Messi won it. Once again Messi has been in sensational form for Barcelona this season and while he may not have won the World Cup or the Champions League this year, you cannot ignore his performances. I agree that it was a bit boring to see him pick it up again, but results are results. I also feel a bit disappointed for Iniesta and Xavi because they too have played some incredible football in the past couple of years for club and country, but at the same time I couldn't possibly decide between the two as it would be slightly unfair to the other.

    I also can't help but think though, if you split Xavi and Iniesta up and put them in two different clubs, would they still be on the list of contenders for the award? Think about it. Almost their whole reason for being on the contenders list is thanks to the other. Their bond and style of play is what has gotten them there. No doubt they would still be top-notch footballers if they were split up, but would they be as good as they are when they play together? Would they still have played just as well together for their country in the 2010 World Cup if they played for different clubs? They can't both win the award for best footballer and it would have been unfair to the other any how (in my opinion). Maybe that's partly the reason Messi won it again, maybe not.

    Either way, I too was a little disappointed Sneijder wasn't even considered for the award, but I guess results are what count.

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 10:15pm on 12 Jan 2011, albert wrote:

    it did not surprize me, there is a biased effort locate maradona's sucsesor and am sure had he scored one goal in the world cup he would have gotten the legasy crown as an example the year ronaldo won his balon d'or in wich there was no dought who should take the honors after being the highest scorer in the champions the premier ect messi still got more than 300 votes!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 10:23pm on 12 Jan 2011, rightback wrote:

    As much as I love Messi, I'm a bit disappointed that Xavi didn't win. Everything goes through Xavi on Barca and Spain...neither team is nearly as effective without him. That said, one of the things that sets Messi apart from the likes of Ronaldo or Sneijder is he at a par with Xavi in his vision and teamwork.

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 00:05am on 13 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    Luis Figo summed it up

    “This is an individual trophy and Messi is the best. He won despite the fact that both Xavi and Iniesta had done very well this year.

    “I am not surprised that they elected Messi. I think that Xavi and Iniesta have deserved to win, but Messi is a player who is above everyone.”

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 00:46am on 13 Jan 2011, BobbyMagic wrote:

    All I say is, if the manager of the club you love had the opportunity to sign any player in the world who would you want it to be? I am very sure most of you would pick a certain Argentine lad.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 01:11am on 13 Jan 2011, croatandabout wrote:

    Just been and watched a masterclass from all three again against Betis. Messi scored a hat trick Xavi passed perfectly for 90 minutes and Iniesta delivered final balls that were at times breathtaking! To say the wrong man won the Ballon is mis-guided it just so happen that for the past 12 months all three have consistently put in performances that most footballers can only dream of! Forza Barca!

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 05:30am on 13 Jan 2011, palmblue wrote:

    only one name come to mind: Ronaldo

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 05:53am on 13 Jan 2011, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    293. At 05:30am on 13 Jan 2011, palmblue wrote:
    only one name come to mind: Ronaldo
    ________________________________________

    The real Ronaldo? Not sure he was up there last year. 13 years ago he was sensational..

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 07:10am on 13 Jan 2011, cristiano wrote:

    it's just a nature of people specially from those who are spanish.........they want their players to be on the top ..... as a fact it's just a matter that messi is not spanish... if he would be a spanish, he will surely be appreciated rather then discouraging...

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 07:16am on 13 Jan 2011, cristiano wrote:

    as well i'm concerned, cristiano ronaldo is the best one among all players..... but it does not mean to regret someone... FIFA is performing it's duty just fantastit and the right one has deserve the right award for himself... It was the result of Messi's performances throughout the year which made him the best enough to earned that prestigious award Ballon Dor...

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 09:51am on 13 Jan 2011, GenesisRed wrote:

    @rikkirokkit, Iniesta went down "a couple of times easy"? He dives and pulls faces with the best (worst) of them, but rarely if ever gets punished for his playacting.

    Maybe that makes him better at it.

    As for Xavi not being a match winner, without his passes and possession skills, the space and passes wouldn't exist for Iniesta and Messi to dazzle.

    I guess it comes down to the glamour players vs the fundamentally important ones. Scholes is a good example of a similar player to Xavi. Neither really had the praise they deserve, but were wanted by every manager.

    At their prime both were critical to the team, pulling the opposition around and opening the opposition defence. But its usually the scorer who get's the most praise, because their input is more obvious.

    It will always be a Messi or Ronaldo getting the prize, because it's goals and dribbling that is remembered, not wonder passes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 11:03am on 13 Jan 2011, yakobo wrote:

    I think the whole process was driven by excitement rather than logic and factual reasoning. Some one wins all domestic trophies, champions league and plays in world cup final and they are not even mentioned in the final three???
    Come on this is politics

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 11:30am on 13 Jan 2011, mrsouthamerica wrote:

    Everytime a Messi article is written there are these absurd comments such as 'the dark arts of mourinho' or 'Master tacticians Hiddink and Mourinho that undid Barcelona'. 242,86,85,47 and im sure there's a few more who arrive at this false illusion! Question, where were the dark arts of mourinho when he was recently humbled 5-0? Or the 2 defeats his Inter side suffered against Barcelona in the CL last season. His only victory was on the back of the 'Coach trip' week, unless you include amongst his 'dark arts' the ability to control volcano's!?
    Hiddinks masterplan of camping in your own half and hoping to sneak one with a 4-500 million pound team was testiment to how inferior he knew his side were. It was a smart move that had one flaw- barcelona will always get one good chance and they did! Chelsea fans will continue to cry but if their players had concentrated on exploiting barca's 10 men than time wasting (drogba anyone!) there wouldnt have been any 94th minute.
    The second joke is the constant hype of Ronaldo, how many times has this guy gone head to head with Messi and looked inferior? Answer? every single game they've been opposed! Even the 2 semi finals when utd won Messi took both man of the match awards (proof that the best player doesnt necessarily have to represent the successfull team). To even bring Ronaldo into a disussion with Messi you should sign up to the Andy Grxy school of 'hot air', Messi struggle in the Prem? difficult against the likes of stoke? OH PLEASE! It's the blind leading the blind in bubble wrapped world of the EPL.
    The latest attack upon La liga is that its a 2 horse race, hasnt the EPL been that for the last 10 yrs!? In the last decade there have been 5 different winners of La Liga but only 3 different winners of the Prem so which is factually proven the more predictable! In the last 5 yrs of the CL, 2 winners have been from Spain and two from Italy but only one from England and in the last 5 yrs of international competition - the world champions have been Italy & Spain and the Euro Champions have been Spain. Its amazing how when you compare facts against hype how far a drift they proove to be!

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 11:41am on 13 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    At 11:30am on 13 Jan 2011, mrsouthamerica wrote:
    Everytime a Messi article is written there are these absurd comments such as 'the dark arts of mourinho' or 'Master tacticians Hiddink and Mourinho that undid Barcelona'. 242,86,85,47 and im sure there's a few more who arrive at this false illusion! Question, where were the dark arts of mourinho when he was recently humbled 5-0? Or the 2 defeats his Inter side suffered against Barcelona in the CL last season. His only victory was on the back of the 'Coach trip' week, unless you include amongst his 'dark arts' the ability to control volcano's!?
    Hiddinks masterplan of camping in your own half and hoping to sneak one with a 4-500 million pound team was testiment to how inferior he knew his side were. It was a smart move that had one flaw- barcelona will always get one good chance and they did! Chelsea fans will continue to cry but if their players had concentrated on exploiting barca's 10 men than time wasting (drogba anyone!) there wouldnt have been any 94th minute.
    The second joke is the constant hype of Ronaldo, how many times has this guy gone head to head with Messi and looked inferior? Answer? every single game they've been opposed! Even the 2 semi finals when utd won Messi took both man of the match awards (proof that the best player doesnt necessarily have to represent the successfull team). To even bring Ronaldo into a disussion with Messi you should sign up to the Andy Grxy school of 'hot air', Messi struggle in the Prem? difficult against the likes of stoke? OH PLEASE! It's the blind leading the blind in bubble wrapped world of the EPL.
    The latest attack upon La liga is that its a 2 horse race, hasnt the EPL been that for the last 10 yrs!? In the last decade there have been 5 different winners of La Liga but only 3 different winners of the Prem so which is factually proven the more predictable! In the last 5 yrs of the CL, 2 winners have been from Spain and two from Italy but only one from England and in the last 5 yrs of international competition - the world champions have been Italy & Spain and the Euro Champions have been Spain. Its amazing how when you compare facts against hype how far a drift they proove to be!

    ------------------------------------------------------------


    well said actually.

    Im sure its blind arrogance that radiates from england that stops folk from voting for them when it comes to hosting world cups too :D

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 12:00pm on 13 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    299. At 11:30am on 13 Jan 2011, mrsouthamerica wrote:

    The latest attack upon La liga is that its a 2 horse race, hasnt the EPL been that for the last 10 yrs!? In the last decade there have been 5 different winners of La Liga but only 3 different winners of the Prem so which is factually proven the more predictable! In the last 5 yrs of the CL, 2 winners have been from Spain and two from Italy but only one from England and in the last 5 yrs of international competition - the world champions have been Italy & Spain and the Euro Champions have been Spain. Its amazing how when you compare facts against hype how far a drift they proove to be!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you are talking about the last ten seasons, then 3 teams have won La Liga - Valencia, Barcelona and Real. In the same time period, 3 teams have also won the Premier League - Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd. The reason so many believe La Liga to be such a two horse race is because of the the gulf that now exists between the top and everyone else.

    Last season Real Madrid were 25 points above third place, scored over 100 goals and still didn't win. Barcelona were one short of 100 points - where else would that happen in a competitive 20 team league?? In the Premier League, 2nd to 8th were separated by the same points margin as 2nd and 3rd in La Liga. Two horse race?? What do the facts tell you??

    In no way am I endorsing the Premier league and the hype that surrounds it, but there is no denying that the Spanish league is only gonna be between two teams for some time, especially taking into consideration the financial problems some of the other 18 teams face. Next you'll be telling me that the Scottish League is open!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 12:16pm on 13 Jan 2011, Ben Mayer wrote:

    268. At 4:16pm on 12 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    Messi deserved the ballon d'or, what i don't understand is that Fifa's recognition on English football, as that is the best league in the world. So i was supprised that i didn't any English footballer on the short list. Fifa need to wake up.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who exactly? Stop with this mindless arrogance from the EPL. Which English player would have deserved the award, or for a matter of fact, who would have deserved it from the EPL would have deserved it against Xavi, Iniesta, Snjeider or hmmm....let's think....there was one left....can't quite get the name.....oh yeah: Messi.
    Having said that, i do have to say that Cattermole had a fantastic season.
    And NO Bale does not deserve the award before you ask. "But he tormented the best right back in the world"
    Miso Brecko shut out Rooney for the entire England v Slovenia game, remember? Rooney was supposed to be one of the best wasn't he. Brecko should get it, had a fantastic season.
    Just start accepting that there is a world outside the EPL, once you do that, it's not so hard to appreciate other football.

    Last night's hat-trick against Betis was another piece of evidence that he is the best player and did deserve the award. All the goals summed it up. A cheecky chip, cool in front of goal, and determination not give up and the ability to somehow score from every situation.
    He deserved just as much as the others did, the award goes to Barcelona tough

    Complain about this comment

  • 303. At 12:22pm on 13 Jan 2011, GenesisRed wrote:

    Sorry, but the comments about Ronaldo vs Messi are laughable.

    It's always a fool's game to compare two different kinds of players and try and decide who is better.

    Messi fits into a system at Barcelona, and is the main man for Argentina (the side virtually built around him).

    Ronaldo can be too selfish a player but has more pace and strength, beats players in a different way, takes different kinds of shots.

    At United, I always wished they'd play Ronaldo with Rooney just behind him, because when they linked up it was phenominal. Messi and Ronaldo could link up because they play different roles.

    That Messi has been more successful in head to heads (the Messi proponents casually ignoring how many times he has been completely anonymous when his supply has been cut) means nothing. He has a decent team structured around him, and he is a more link up player.

    Is he better than Torres? Not as a striker no. In fact, Torres and Ronaldo are more similar, Ronaldo a more tricksy deeper-playing version in many respects. Torres can score goals Messi and Ronaldo can only dream of, because he's a true Brazilian-Ronaldo style predator.

    Basically, such comparisons are stupid. World top players are exceptional and can only be mimicked, not copied or compared. Is Zidane like Kaka? No, because they play a different if similar game.

    The question is only who was the best player in the year last year. Iniesta was overrated, Messi in and out - sometimes exceptional and beyond any other, but many other times completely absent - while Xavi was top class in every game of his I saw.

    So is it the peaks that count or the overall contribution. Surely it must be the latter...

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 12:27pm on 13 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    302. At 12:16pm on 13 Jan 2011, Ben Mayer wrote:
    268. At 4:16pm on 12 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    Messi deserved the ballon d'or, what i don't understand is that Fifa's recognition on English football, as that is the best league in the world. So i was supprised that i didn't any English footballer on the short list. Fifa need to wake up.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who exactly? Stop with this mindless arrogance from the EPL. Which English player would have deserved the award, or for a matter of fact, who would have deserved it from the EPL would have deserved it against Xavi, Iniesta, Snjeider or hmmm....let's think....there was one left....can't quite get the name.....oh yeah: Messi.
    Having said that, i do have to say that Cattermole had a fantastic season.
    And NO Bale does not deserve the award before you ask. "But he tormented the best right back in the world"
    Miso Brecko shut out Rooney for the entire England v Slovenia game, remember? Rooney was supposed to be one of the best wasn't he. Brecko should get it, had a fantastic season.
    Just start accepting that there is a world outside the EPL, once you do that, it's not so hard to appreciate other football.

    Last night's hat-trick against Betis was another piece of evidence that he is the best player and did deserve the award. All the goals summed it up. A cheecky chip, cool in front of goal, and determination not give up and the ability to somehow score from every situation.
    He deserved just as much as the others did, the award goes to Barcelona tough

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And to further your point, the original poster said "what i don't understand is that Fifa's recognition on English football, as that is the BEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD"

    Unless I speak a different variety of English to this guy, I understand that to mean that some of the best players in world play in the Premier League. The quote didn't mention anything about them being English. I'm pretty sure Drogba was on the original list!!

    oh and Bale isn't English anyway :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 12:35pm on 13 Jan 2011, mrsouthamerica wrote:

    #300 thanks!

    On the actual subject of the Ballon dor, i cant see an issue with the result. Having watched all 7 world cup games of Spain and not just joined the party at the semi or final, i can't honestly say Spain & Xavi or Iniesta were dazzling throughout. The truth is Spain were dull until the semi when the inclusion of Pedro sparked them into life and their best performance, until this point it had been David Villa alone who had dragged a subdued Spanish through. Iniesta sparkled in the final and scored but he missed or only part played many of the early games due to injury. Injury and poor form had blighted his season too, missing both the beginning and end of the 09/10 season through injury and finding himself occassionally dropped during the periods when he was fit due to poor form. Hardly a candidate for the Best player of the SEASON, unless of course you only tuned into to Spain/Germany, Spain/ Holland.
    Xavi had less than a steller domestic season with his form and fitness not hitting the dizzy heights of the previous yr but still a class act and had sentiment ruled (Giggs anyone) the ballon dor would be his.
    Sneijder- again how many calls for this player are based purely on Inters match against Chelsea! The truth of Inter's success does not rest with Wesley Sneijder but a collective of Milito, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Lucio, Eto'o etc all of which had an equal shout as their ballon dor candidate. An unsuccessful world cup final could have little impact in tipping the balance on a player whose individual club merits had been over hyped.
    So in the end there could only be one, the one who carried Barcelona, the goals of Eto'o had gone, likewise Henry, Iniesta & Xavi had dried up infront of goal, one player provided more assists than the others, scored more goals than anyone, more hattricks, in fact for me there was a 2 week period around March time when Xavi and Iniesta were both missing physically and ibra well was just missing, that the world took note that Messi was simply on another level. The 2 back to back hattricks, in particular the Zaragoza game showed that there is Messi then the rest. Some mainly from these shores will point to the world cup, but they forget that after the first 4 games of the tournament he was the only star deemed to have turned up! Hardly fair to use the inept tactics and selection of his coach in the match against Germany to use as a stick to beat Messi with!
    In the end the Ballon dor is for the best player in the world which is Messi, it would of only been another Ronaldinho speach ('im not even the best at Barcelona') if Xavi or Iniesta would of won it ahead of him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 12:38pm on 13 Jan 2011, GenesisRed wrote:

    "Miso Brecko shut out Rooney for the entire England v Slovenia game, remember? Rooney was supposed to be one of the best wasn't he. Brecko should get it, had a fantastic season."

    Do we need to remind you about how Messi fared in the World Cup against Germany? Shut out of the game entirely by Schweinsteiger.

    So, your point was...?

    Any player can be marked out of the game. ANY player. Christ, Phil Neville showed that against Vieira...

    The sad fact for England was that Rooney was the only player worth marking.

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 1:42pm on 13 Jan 2011, Vladimir wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 308. At 1:45pm on 13 Jan 2011, Vladimir wrote:

    Wrong man! The little guy is a genius. I think we put the critics to shame last night with a hat trick against Betis in the Copa Del Ray!
    The award if for the best player in the world for the previous year/ season. Messi was amazing and has been the world’s greatest player for the past two years. This year its Messi vs Renaldo!
    If the award was called “Services to football” then Xavi should have won it.
    Yes he didn’t have an amazing World Cup campaign because Argentina were awful but the best player is awarded the ward for being best when his team did play!
    Messi! Viva Barca!

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 1:52pm on 13 Jan 2011, LeoMessiah wrote:

    62 goals in all competitions during 2010, and if you actually watch every game Messi plays, you'll get to see some outstanding, dazzling performances (vs Zaragoza, Valencia, Arsenal) noone else can pull.

    So far this league season, 18 games with 18 goals and 13 assists. Last night, after offering the trophy to Barca's fans, hat-trick vs Betis. Makes you wonder if he's any good, doesn't it?

    Messi has won by a mile according to coaches' votes, and by another mile according to player's votes. So where do those doubts come from?

    The big forgotten player yesterday was Forlan, who wasn't even included in the best XI, when Villa hadn't won anything in his last season with Valencia, but Forlan took Europa League and Euro Supercup, scoring as many goals as Villa in the WC, and being the WC's MVP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 1:58pm on 13 Jan 2011, JUSTICE GYAN wrote:

    I SCREAMED WHEN I READ MESSI WAS AWARDED THE PRIZE. HOW COULD FIFA GIVE SUCH AN AWARD TO A PLAYER WHO DID NOT WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND ALSO THE WORLD CUP? WE NEED TO INVESTIGATE HOW DOES THINGS THESE DAYS. I REMEMBER JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO, THEY ALSO SURPRISING DECIDED TO AWARD THE STAGING OF THE WORD CUP TO RUSSIA INSTEAD OF ENGLAND. WE NEED A CHANGE AT FIFA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 2:00pm on 13 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    haha. Genesisred, thats a laughable assessment of things.

    Messi 'in and out' and sometimes absent. Xavi great in every game you watched? give me a break. By absent you're probably talking about Inter, a game Xavi was notoriously absent in too, most of them were because of Mourinho's 11 man defence.

    For some reason you've also bizarrely brought Torres into the argument, i have no clue why. He can score goals they can only dream off? errrr, yeh? It works both ways, Torres could only dream of scoring a goal like Messi's vs Getafe, or Ronaldos vs Porto

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 2:38pm on 13 Jan 2011, GenesisRed wrote:

    @licecapades Thanks for finally (if accidentally) getting the point by the end of it.

    Yes, you cannot compare such players to each other.

    As far as in and out and sometimes absent, you obviously only watch Messi on the highlight reel or through rose tinted glasses. The example I gave was vs Germany where he barely had a touch, much less show the world how great he is.

    Why? Because he didn't get the passes from midfield that he is used to from Xavi.

    You pointed out another where, when against a well drilled team where he doesn't have the space to dazzle, he disappears in a puff of smoke. Being able to stuff a rubbish team means what...? Betis are a poor team, so beating them means nothing.

    Don't get me wrong, he can turn it on and do the "impossible", but he's not a demi-god, the way you and others carry on. As I say, is the award for the highest peaks or the most overall contribution to title winning teams? He wins on the highest peaks, but wouldn't on the latter.

    Also, thanks licecapades for proving my point that the armchair fans like you and FIFA only notice the obvious, and miss the equally valuable quiet contributions that build the platform for others.

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 2:49pm on 13 Jan 2011, licecapades wrote:

    Genesisred, it seems you're the typical armchair fan

    "because he didnt get the passes from the midfield". Thats right, he dropped deep into his own half just to get on the ball, so in essence, he couldnt impact the game because his team and the set up wasnt good enough. Wow, no kidding eh, if he plays in a mediocre side against a well organized side he cant win the game.

    Great insight there, you're obviously Jose Mourinho Mark II with that kind of analysis.

    But yeh, because he didnt score or assists against germany or Inter milan he shouldnt have won it. He only stuffs rubbish teams like betis, he hasnt stuffed, Madrid, Arsenal, Man Utd etc.

    I think its time for you to log off mate. You've been on redcafe too much with the other Utd fans who cannot view anything barcelona related objectively because its too painful for them to accept that they're out in front

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 2:51pm on 13 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    305. At 12:35pm on 13 Jan 2011, mrsouthamerica wrote:

    "On the actual subject of the Ballon dor, i cant see an issue with the result. Having watched all 7 world cup games of Spain and not just joined the party at the semi or final, i can't honestly say Spain & Xavi or Iniesta were dazzling throughout. The truth is Spain were dull until the semi when the inclusion of Pedro sparked them into life and their best performance, until this point it had been David Villa alone who had dragged a subdued Spanish through. Iniesta sparkled in the final and scored but he missed or only part played many of the early games due to injury"

    For someone who claims to have watched all 7 games, I can;t understand why you seem to think that Iniesta missed or part played 'many of the early games'. He was replaced in the final ten minutes of the opening game, because of a fear that he had a reccurence of his injury. As a result, he was rested against Honduras, because Spain had more than enough to win that game without him. Apart from that, he played every minute of the tournament. And Spain's best performance was against Germany. They were lucky not to lose to Paraguay!!!


    "Sneijder- again how many calls for this player are based purely on Inters match against Chelsea! The truth of Inter's success does not rest with Wesley Sneijder but a collective of Milito, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Lucio, Eto'o etc all of which had an equal shout as their ballon dor candidate. An unsuccessful world cup final could have little impact in tipping the balance on a player whose individual club merits had been over hyped"

    Inter's away match against Chelsea, Inter's first leg SF against Barca, The UCL final, UEFA midfielder of the year, almost every game in the world cup was MOTM. Joint top scorer, player of the tournament nomination. Plus, this season he was the reason Inter were 4-0 up at half time against Spurs. Everyone talks about Bale, but he was the real star when the match still mattered. Bale took full advantage of Inter's laxidaisical second half - thinking the game was won. Before that, Sneijder pulled Spurs all over the place.

    I'd said it's because of a little bit more than the game against Chelsea

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 2:55pm on 13 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @ mrsouthamerica

    Apologies, I thought you said WCQF not semi final. My mistake, and I agree with you on that point. Spain were lucky not to lose to Paraguay in the QF.

    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 3:24pm on 13 Jan 2011, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    Lionel Messi deserves it over 74 goals in the year 2010.

    This is the prize for the best player in the year 2010 right? No-one else even came close to that figure of goals, even in the poorer leagues.

    Now onto Wesley Sneijder, for those moaning he should have won it because he won a treble with Inter? The award is for the year 2010 and in the year 2010 Wesley Sneijder has scored 1 Serie A goal, has been absolutely appalling since the World Cup final.
    If he was as good as Lionel Messi, he would have actually performed for at least 11/12 months of the year, but he didnt. He performed for 6 months. On the other hand Messi was still Argentina's best player at the World Cup despite not scoring.
    _________________________________________________

    All the Sneijder fans, read that again! Many of those who think that Sneijder should have won it either don't watch him play, or don't watch Messi play, or don't watch either one of them play on a regular basis.

    Did the wrong man win? Silly question that does not befit being on a BBC blog. Messi? The wrong man? Are you seeking attention or know nothing about football? Poor blog, as usual.

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 3:40pm on 13 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    316. At 3:24pm on 13 Jan 2011, fabulousRedsReds wrote:
    Lionel Messi deserves it over 74 goals in the year 2010.

    This is the prize for the best player in the year 2010 right? No-one else even came close to that figure of goals, even in the poorer leagues.

    Now onto Wesley Sneijder, for those moaning he should have won it because he won a treble with Inter? The award is for the year 2010 and in the year 2010 Wesley Sneijder has scored 1 Serie A goal, has been absolutely appalling since the World Cup final.
    If he was as good as Lionel Messi, he would have actually performed for at least 11/12 months of the year, but he didnt. He performed for 6 months. On the other hand Messi was still Argentina's best player at the World Cup despite not scoring.
    _________________________________________________

    All the Sneijder fans, read that again! Many of those who think that Sneijder should have won it either don't watch him play, or don't watch Messi play, or don't watch either one of them play on a regular basis.

    Did the wrong man win? Silly question that does not befit being on a BBC blog. Messi? The wrong man? Are you seeking attention or know nothing about football? Poor blog, as usual.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The wrong man definitely didn;t win, but for all the people pointing out why Sneijder should have won, there are an equal number who are shouting down his achievements up to and including the World Cup.

    If the final few months of the regular season - i.e. the latter stages of the UCL and domestic leagues - and the world cup did not have an overall bearing on nominations, then how on earth was Asamoah Gyan end up on the final list. Like I have said in a previous post - if Gyan was there, where was Robert Vittek?

    By no means should any of this detract from the fact that Messi was the best player in the world throughout the past 12 calendar months and a deserving winner, but if we are going to talk about Sneijder's form of late, it's only fair that the whole list of nomimees is scrutinised in the same way, including FIFA's reasons for selection.

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 6:19pm on 13 Jan 2011, pyaklich wrote:

    Has anyone considered how embarrassing it would be not to give it to Messi? The man is averaging better than a goal per game this season and won the Golden Boot last season, were they really supposed to deny him based solely on his nationality? While Spaniards in general may feel aggrieved, I don't think there is a single Barcelona supporter that, if they had to choose, would sell Messi over either Iniesta or Xavi. By last year most of the world conceded that Messi is the greatest active player on earth, the small price of being lucky enough to see him play every week is that player awards will have to lack variety for a few years to come.

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 7:07pm on 13 Jan 2011, johnsonk wrote:

    "I was sent by God to play football and score goal" Cristiano Ronaldo
    " I didn't send anyone!" Lionel Messi

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 8:31pm on 13 Jan 2011, matador wrote:

    Everybody seems to be missing the point. If you accept that winning the world cup is the pinnacle of a footballers' career then every four years the fifa / balon d'or is a world cup winner.
    fifa since 1991 - 1994 romario, 1998 zizou, 2002 Ronaldo ( injured for most of the season ) 2006 Cannavaro. for the balon d or European players only back of the day -the only exception to this rule was cruyff in 74 just beating the kasier.82 rossi, 90 matthaus and it copies the fifa award.
    so if the precedent is set by having an injured ronaldo win it in 2002 and the captain of the worst world cup winning team in 2006 winning this award then surely it is reasonable to query what is the criteria for winning this award? like everything to do with fifa the goal posts keep moving

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 09:22am on 14 Jan 2011, Naane wrote:

    the other two yes have won the world cup, but looking at the contribution they made to all teams involved( barca, Spain and Agentina)individually who is outstanding of the three. Foget Spain winning the world cup and look at this athlets indivuddually, they all had a wonderful year but i do not blame Messi for underperfomance of Agentina, he has individually made outstanding moves to help barca be on top of the log as copared to the two. so why deny him the award just beacause Agentina did not win the world cup. he deserved the award. it does not mean others are not deserving it is only that even academically when you get 95% you have a distinction but the one who has 96% has beaten you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 11:28am on 14 Jan 2011, James wrote:

    I live in Madrid (Spain) and I usually watch La Liga's matches quite regularly. Barca plays incredibly well, awesome passing, high creativity, a lot of pace and acceleration etc.
    But, in my opinnion, the great secret of Barca is the midfield (Xavi & Iniesta) with having the best world player at the moment (Messi). Xavi & Iniesta are entrusted of creating the good chances, opening the rival defences and making the precise assitences in each match, and Messi adds the quality. So, from my point of view, Messi would not be the world class player that he is without Xavi and Iniesta (i.e please, only watch how he plays with Argentina national team). However, Xavi and Iniesta with a top goalscorer (as Villa or Torres) can reach or be definitive (i.e please, only see the last world cup champions).
    To conclude, in my opinnion, the golden ball should have go to Xavi or Iniesta, not only because how they play or they are more definitive/useful for a team, but also because they were better in 2009 than Messi).

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 12:01pm on 14 Jan 2011, ryan wrote:

    @James,

    I know you're late in arrving at this thread but see point 143.

    Regarding you're point about Xavi and Iniesta assisting Messi, well Messi has more assists to his name than both of them. Messi is a better player for Barca than Argentina, but that is because of how Barca are able to play, because they have the likes of Xavi and Iniesta in their team, rather than the fact that he is constantly fed by them.

    For Argenitna, Messi was forced to drop deep to get any time on the ball, much the same as Ronaldo for Portugal. But look at their form for their respective clubs!

    Against Deportivo last week for example, Messi assisted the first and third and scored the second. He is more than a midfielder - whose job is to assist; He is more than a striker - whose job is to score goals. He does both, in abundance. For that reason, he deserves the award, regardless of his form for Argentina.

    Like you said yourself, Xavi and Iniesta have the luxury of Torres and Villa to score goals. During the World Cup, Messi was forced to carry the team. Don't forget, this is a team that almost failed to qualify for the World Cup in the first place, despite boasting the likes of Messi, Di Maria, Higuan, Arguero, Milito and even Veron (based on his form the previous season). Any other country in the world, even Spain, would love to have that kind of attacking threat (It's gotta be better than Crouch, Bent, Heskey, Carlton Cole, Zamora!!!), and yet they still failed. Why should that having any bearing on Messi's phenomenal year?

    @ Naane

    I like your point about the distinction. Sums it up pefectly!

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 1:05pm on 14 Jan 2011, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:

    Xavi, Iniesta, Wesley and Messi are all top class consistent performers. They all work very hard for their respective teams. Messi possesses a few more special dribbling techniques that make him far more dangerous to the rival defenders and a joy to watch for the spectators.

    The Ballon d'Or appears to have gone in the right direction. Congrats to the winner and all the very best to all our distinguished footballers in 2011.


    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 8:57pm on 14 Jan 2011, All_Rafa_s_starlets wrote:

    I, too, thought Wesley Sneijder should have been in the three-man shortlist - perhaps alongside Xavi and Messi. But I always thought that the award should go to the man who played the most awesome football of 2010 and was the biggest asset to his team. That man was Lionel Messi, regardless of how poorly he did at the World Cup; by his standards, that is. Through no fault of his, I might add.

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 9:10pm on 14 Jan 2011, All_Rafa_s_starlets wrote:

    Concerning the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, I must say that, like a lot of other people, I was a bit surprised. But only at first. In hindsight, it seems to me like a very brave decision on FIFA's part to try and make football's family a truly global one by including parts of the world that have previously been left out. I hate what the Russians did to Peter Odemwingie and I am well aware of the fact that Qatar is not exactly a footballing powerhouse. But football's greatest tournament needed to go to eastern Europe and the Middle East. Much as I find the opacity of its workings unhelpful, I think FIFA is probably getting undeserved criticism about these decisions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 10:11pm on 14 Jan 2011, Spaced Invader wrote:

    Messi was the correct choice - anyone who watched Barcelona in 2010 will know he was consistently their most dangerous and exceptional player.

    Playing 6 or 7 good games at the world cup should not decide anything (and anyhow, whilst Spain deserved to win the WC, their performances were hardly sparkling - an actually dominated by David Villa anyway!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 08:04am on 15 Jan 2011, jyonda wrote:

    If anything this underlines the fact that football is a team game and that having the worlds best player doesn't guarantee success. For me, this actually makes the award more credible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 09:24am on 15 Jan 2011, hearyehearye wrote:

    For all those extolling the merits of Sneijder: what has he done SINCE the world cup? Nothing, pretty much. As I remember, he had a good WC, but not a jaw-droppingly good one, certainly didn't do enough to make him best player in the world automatically. His performances for Inter were excellent until summer domestically and in the CL. But so were those of the three actual candidates, who also continued their excellent form until the end of the year.

    In sum, while it is not ridiculous to suggest Wesley as a candidate, it is rather ridiculous to pretend that his absence is actually unjust. I mean, what about C Ronaldo, whose scoring record was nearly equal to Messi's last season, and so far better this season, and is scoring hattricks for fun? There are about 5 or 6 worthy candidates, but only 3 places. To call that "unjust" is silly.

    And between the 3 real candidates, the best man won. If you asked Xavi or Iniesta who was the best player in the world, they would say Leo Messi (as they have indeed done). This award shouldn't be about headline-grabbing (Iniesta's winning goal) or a feeling that a consistently great player finally deserves recognition (Xavi). It is about a very simple question: who, over 12 months, has been the best player (with particular attention to the World Cup)? "Leo Messi" is certainly not a ridiculous answer to that question.

    So no, Phil, the wrong man did not win the Ballon d'Or.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 2:05pm on 15 Jan 2011, doctormightyhotspur wrote:

    Most of the people who think Messi should not have won it think it's because he had a bad world cup. It is quite frankly startling how often I hear this and I am at a loss to know why unless it's just that by not actually winning it you draw the conclusion he was useless. I, like many many others watched all Argentina's games and Messi was head and shoulders above everyone on the pitch in every game. Messi should have the ballon d'or by a far greater margin than he did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 4:09pm on 15 Jan 2011, physical_graffiti wrote:

    Xavi or Iniesta?

    Pacino or De Niro?

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 9:36pm on 15 Jan 2011, kumlachew_asmare wrote:

    I would say the award goes to the right person. I wonder why some people think a month-time world cup performance should influence the destination of the award which is meant for giving credits for a year-long performance.

    I can not deny that Xavi and Inesta are good players and had good year but this can never overshadow messi's magnificent performance in 2010. His Argentina squad is not full of excellent players; he did his best in WC. Do not forget that he is human and hence can not win alone against a team full of excellent players. Xavi and Inesta are helped by excellent players in Spain squad. One should not forget that it was Villa who almost single-handedly helped Spain in the knock out stages.

    Though Snieder was a treble winner and a WC finalist, the success of Inter Milan is attributed to the magnificent goal scoring abilities of the strikers (eto and milito)as well. Besides, Jose Mourinho's contribution took a lion share for the success of the Inter Milan.

    Some players had a good year just because the whole team had a good year. Messi had a good year because he was amazing regardless of his team mates.

    I am happy he made it. Viva Messi. U deserve it !

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 11:43am on 16 Jan 2011, dammage wrote:

    January 1st to december 31st 2010...messi was best player buy mile.

    even the people whom say he shouldny have won it, if you were picking a team on sunday league, and could have ONE player on team, everyone would choose messi>xavi>iniesta

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 6:18pm on 17 Jan 2011, JamesLincs wrote:

    no doubt in my mind.. sneijder has had an exceptional year but messi has still been better

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 5:19pm on 18 Jan 2011, Tommy wrote:

    I think Sniedjer should have won the award, ha has won 5 trophy's and took Holland to the final scoring 5 goals!
    Wesley actually created 2 goals for Robben and of course we all know that he missed but if he had scored and holland had won... would Messi still have won this award?
    Anyhow, the system sucks not a surprise from a federation that it light away from reality.

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 5:27pm on 18 Jan 2011, Tommy wrote:

    If Messi and Xavi are so good, how come in the champions league this year, they lost to inter 3-1 at san siro and they did not just lose they were out played. Then in the return match this super Messi could even get a shot on target? and when he eventually got a shot, julio Cesar made a miracle save to deniy him?

    I say Julio Cesar should win the golden boot award for stopping the best footballer in the world????

    Good, so if you win all the trophies possible but score a few hat-trick you get world football of the year.... please

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 8:02pm on 18 Jan 2011, bambangpoerbo wrote:

    I believed FIFA had made the new Ballon d'Or not picking the right person. First the shortlisted thing. Then the 2nd shortlisted phase that only have 3 players to choose. That was wrong in the Ballon d'Or spirit. I bet Mourinho and maybe other coaches wanted to choose other player (Sneijder maybe hinted by the fact Mourinho had said about it) but he could not because of that shortlisted choices. This is more frustrating that having to accept Lionel Messi as the recipient of this year Ballon d'Or. As for me, as it turned out like this, Ballon d'Or is not on my list of interest anymore of choosing the best player of the year. I would gladly choose other award.

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 09:29am on 20 Jan 2011, REDREDRED wrote:

    Lionel Messi is a Master but so is Xavi and Inesta in their own way. Any one was deserving of this award. I am pleased for Lionel as I watch Baca every week and drool over the whole team and the way they play this glorious game this is how it should be played.

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 1:22pm on 20 Jan 2011, LeoMessiah wrote:

    @337 there is no second shortlist, they just announce the three most voted players

    For those who comment that Messi doesn't have to put up with hard defenders in La Liga, look for videos on that theme, particularly good the ones about how Real deal with Messi (hunt him down with pure brutality), and of course, search for the "Ujfalusi tackle on Messi" at the beginning of this season. It hurts watching.

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 11:14pm on 20 Jan 2011, kieoo wrote:

    MESSI IS A WONDERFUL PLAYER BUT DIDNT MERIT THE AWARD ,ESPECIALLY IN A WORLD CUP YEAR, WHERE HIS TEAM DIDNT EVEN REACH THE SEMI FINALS. IT WAS A CRIME FOR FIFA TO EXCLUDE WESLEY SNEIDJER FROM THE HONORS. HAD FIFA NOT BLUNDERED BY THE MERGING BOTH AWARDS, SNEIDJER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE NOD FOR EUROPEAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR, AND PERHAPS XAVI OR INIESTA FOR THE WORLD PLAYER AWARD. ITS MIND BOGGLING TO SEE FABIO CANNAVARO, KNOWN FOR TEAM PLAY,SWEEP THE AWARDS IN 2006, BUT NOT SO FOR THE LIKES OF XAVI, WHO WAS MORE VISIBLE FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY. THIS IS CIVILISED ROBBERY. AM NOT HAPPY

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 2:56pm on 23 Jan 2011, AndyNeill wrote:

    The few weeks of the World Cup always have too much influence on the voting. I remember Davor Suker was runner-up in '98 for his World Cup goals, even though for the rest of the year he was on the bench for Real Madrid and only scored about 8 goals.
    Whilst I love Xavi and Iniesta as players, Messi is the World's best player right now, and so deserved the award. There are other trophies for 'achievement' which are awarded to whole teams i.e. La Liga, The Champions League, the World Cup.
    Don't forget, all through the spring of 2010 everyone was debating whether Messi was playing at a level with Maradona and Pele. Great players though Xavi and Iniesta certainly are (and to a lesser extent Ronaldo and Schneider), none of them was ever compared to Maradona during 2010.


    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 2:58pm on 23 Jan 2011, AndyNeill wrote:

    By the way, Xavi did win the World Soccer magazine version of the award, which is a long-standing and prestigious one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 3:18pm on 28 Jan 2011, wonkeb wrote:

    All of them are fanatstic players but Messi is the most worthy winner

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.