12/30/2009

Messi voted Best Player of Europe by Uruguayan sports daily

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UEFA President Michel Platini (L) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) applaud Lionel Messi of Argentina as he holds his trophy of the FIFA Men's World Player of the Year 2009 soccer award during a ceremony in Zurich December 21, 2009. Lionel Messi became the first Argentine to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award on Monday.

MONTEVIDEO, Dec. 30 -- Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi was named the Best Player of Europe in 2009 by the Uruguayan sports daily "El Pais" on Wednesday.

According to a poll organized by the daily, Messi earned 64 votes, seven more than Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays with Real Madrid. The third place went to Spaniard Xavi Hernandez, also a Barcelona player.

In 2008, Ronaldo beat Messi to win the accolade.

The 22-year-old Messi was the first Argentine to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
(Reuters)

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