BARCELONA SPAIN - OCTOBER 03: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Mallorca at the Camp Nou stadium on October 3 2010 in Barcelona Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi Wins Ballon D'Or As FIFA World Player Of The Year

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Lionel Messi Wins Ballon D'Or As FIFA World Player Of The Year

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is universally acknowledged at the world's best soccer player, which makes today's awarding of the Ballon d'Or reassuring. Rather than over-think the choice, voters for recognizing the best player of 2010 have selected Barcelona's Argentine attacker, giving Messi his second consecutive World Player of the Year honor.

Messi out distanced Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernández and Andres Iniesta. Hernández, the conductor of both Spain's and Barcelona's attacks, had been considered Messi's main opposition, while Iniesta was considered the likely winner by some based on early reports out of Italy.

This year for Barcelona, Messi has scored 28 goals in 26 all competition matches, adding 15 assists. Last year, then 22-year-old tallied 47 goals and 11 assists in 53 games. The FIFA award, given for performance during the calendar year, also considers play for country, where Messi was part of an Argentina team that won Group B in South Africa before being eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Messi becomes the 10th player to win the World Player of the Year twice. Only three players have collected a third ward: Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973, 1974), Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985) and Marco van Basten (1988, 1989, 1992).

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