25th August, 2011
Lionel Messi has been voted the winner of the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in Monaco.
The FC Barcelona forward finished ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi HernÃ¡ndez.
UEFA.com reports that the FC Barcelona forward finished ahead of club mate Xavi HernÃ¡ndez and Real Madrid CF’s Cristiano Ronaldo in a poll of 53 sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member associations.
Messi, the overwhelming winner, collected his prize at the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
The Argentinian international scored 53 goals in 2010/11, including 12 in the UEFA Champions League, where he finished as the top scorer for the third season in succession. His final European goal of the season was Barcelona’s second in their 3-1 final defeat of Manchester United FC, their third title in six years, while Messi also helped his club to a third successive Liga title.
“I’d like to thank all the people that voted for me, and all my team-mates,” said the 24-year-old, one of four Barcelona players in the top ten, three of whom finished in the top four. “I keep all these awards at home and I still have some space for more. It’s an honour to be so successful and to come up with the goals at the right time; thanks to my teammates for helping me achieve this. My motivation comes from being at a club that’s so successful and having a structure that allows us to be so successful; that was taught to me when I moved over and I’ve tried my best to keep it up.”
The Top 3
1 Lionel Messi (ARG) â€“ FC Barcelona (38 votes)
2 Xavi HernÃ¡ndez (ESP) â€“ FC Barcelona (11 votes)
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) â€“ Real Madrid CF (3 votes)