Lionel Messi added another award to his incredibly packed trophy cabinet, winning his third consecutive Ballon d’Or, further cementing his place, at least in the books as the record will show, as the greatest player in the world and this era, despite the Cristiano Ronaldo presence.
Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t make the trip to the ceremony, due to the Real Madrid schedule. Some would like to believe it has something to do with the fact that he knew he’s going to finish second, but I think he’s gotten used to it by now. He doesn’t like it, but I don’t believe he didn’t come because of that.
Back to Messi himself. The first player since Michel Platini to win three consecutive Ballon d’Or, the de facto player of the year, now officially a FIFA award. Cristiano Ronaldo came in second and Xavi, Messi’s teammate, finished third. The rest of the top 10 was completed by Iniesta, Rooney, Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan (??!!!), Samuel Eto’o, Iker Casillas and Neymar.
Speaking of Neymar, he won the Puskas award for his wonder goal against Flamengo, capping off a wonderful year for the Brazilian youngster who won the Libertadores cup with Santos, losing to Barcelona in the Club World Cup final. His time in the South American leagues is certainly nearing to an end.
For Messi, 2011 was more of the same we’ve gotten used to in the last four years. Another league title with Barcelona (third in a row), another Champions League title (second in three years), 53 goals for Barcelona last season and 31 in 28 matches so far this year. Argentina? That’s the black spot, so far, on his resume. Playing at home in the Copa America clearly didn’t help.
The fifpro team of the year – Iker Casillas,Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nemanja Vidic, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney. The world consists of about 3 teams for FIFA, as the awards and nominees clearly showed.