The Argentinean star is named by FIFA as the best player of 2011, this is Messi’s third straight Ballon d’Or award
Messi equals Platini, Cruyff and Van Basten, the only players to ever win three Ballon d’Or titles
Final Ballon d'Or standings
Ballon d'Or 2011
1. Leo Messi: 47,88%
2. Cristiano Ronaldo: 21,6%
3. Xavi: 9,23%
4. Iniesta: 6,01%
5. Rooney: 2,31%
At the age of 24, Leo Messi equals the record set by the Frenchman Michel Platini after winning three consecutive Ballon d’Or titles (2009, 2010 and 2011). Ronaldo handed the Argentinean the FIFA Ballon d’Or this afternoon in Zurich. Messi won the title thanks to votes placed by captains and managers of all the national sides and journalists from France Football.
“Xavi, this Ballon d’Or is yours as well”
With the Ballon d’Or in his hands, Leo Messi wanted to share the award “with the people that voted for me and with my teammates.” But he also made a special dedication to Xavi Hernández, a regular to the FIFA Gala in recent years: “We’ve shared this moment for four years. This Ballon d’Or is also yours. Without your help I would not be here.”
The youngest player to ever win three Ballon d’Or titles
Besides equalling Platini as the second player in the history of the Ballon d’Or to win the title three times in a row, Messi also equals Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten, who have also won three Ballon d’Or titles, albeit not consecutively. In 2009, Messi won the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player, awarded by France Football and FIFA respectively. The following year, 2010, both entities decided to combine the award and call it the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Leo Messi was the first winner of the new award, Iniesta and Xavi finished behind the Argentinean.