Messi is number 1 | FCB Archive

We all knew because we have all seen him in action, but now it is official: Leo Messi is the best player in the world. Magazine France Football announced the fact in their December edition.

Champion with 473 votes

Messi’s victory was overwhelming. The Argentine received 473 votes, well ahead of second placed Cristiano Ronaldo (233 votes) and Xavi Hernández (170 votes). His 2009 with FC Barcelona, both on an individual and collective level, has been more than decisive in winning the award. Messi is the ninth blaugrana to win the Ballon d’Or, the most recent being Ronaldinho back in 2005.

Third in 2007, second in 2008

Argentine international Messi has progressed little by little to top spot in the voting for the Ballon d’Or. In 2007 he came in third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and winner Kaká. In 2008 Messi was runner-up, only beaten by the Portuguese striker. Now, in 2009 he is finally where he belongs, recognised as the best.

The first Argentine and the third youngest

Amazingly, Leo Messi is the first Argentine to win the award. One of the reasons is that until 1995, the prize was limited to European players, eliminating from the running legends such as Diego Maradona.

At just 22 years of age, Leo Messi is the third youngest winner of the Ballon d’Or. The only younger winners were Brazilian Ronaldo at 21 years of age in 1997 and Michael Owen who was also 22 when he claimed the prize in 2001.

 

Top 10

  1. Lionel Messi (473)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (233)
  3. Xavi Hernández (170)
  4. Andrés Iniesta (149)
  5. Samuel Eto'o (75)
  6. Kaká (58)
  7. Ibrahimovic (50)
  8. Wayne Rooney (35)
  9. Didier Drogba (33)
  10. Steven Gerrard (32)