Messi, Sawa, Guardiola & Sasaki Win at FIFA Ballon d’Or 2011

Homare Sawa & Lionel Messi pictured with FIFA 2011 Ballon d'Or Awards

ZURICH– Lionel Messi was awarded FIFA men’s player of the year for the third time in a row, a feat only accomplished one time previously by the current UEFA president Michel Platini (1983-85). Messi’s win over Cristiano Ronaldo and Barça teammate Xavi is a stamp on the years performance.

Japan’s Homare Sawa won her first FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award, over Abby Wambach (USA) and Marta (BRA) who had previously won the last five years running.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola received the men’s coach of the year award punctuating his teams titles of UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.  Japan’s Norio Sasaki won women’s coach of the year for his Nadeshiko victory in the finals over the US in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The winners of these FIFA awards are selected from coaches (33%), national team captains (33%), and selected journalists (33%).

The FIFA/FIFPro World Team was selected by 50,000 professional players from across the globe voting for the all-star team of 2011: Iker Casillas (Spain) in goal; Dani Alves (Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Nemanja Vidic (Serbia) in defense; Xabi Alonso (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain) and Xavi (Spain) in midfield; and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Wayne Rooney (England) up front.

The FIFA Puskas award for “most beautiful goal” went to the young Brazilian Neymar for his goal against Flamengo in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A match held July 27, 2011.

The FIFA Presidential Award went to Sir Alex Ferguson for his accomplishments as manager of Manchester United which commemorated 25 years on November 6, 2011. During his time with Man-U, Ferguson has raised over 30 trophies including 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two UEFA Champions League titles and a FIFA Club World Cup.


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