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FOOTBALL 2011: Ballon D’Or

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Lionel Messi of Argentina has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) prize for the best player of 2011, becoming only the fourth player in history to win the trophy three times. It was the third-straight year, the Argentina and Barcelona star has won the award, putting him in select company alongside some of the game’s all-time greats. It should be noted that Messi had previously won the Ballon D’Or in 2009 and 2010 and was named the man of the match in Barca’s 2011 Champions League final victory over Manchester United

and also won the Primera Division, Spanish Supercopa, Uefa Super Cup, and Club World Cup last year.


List of other winners of 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or 

A. FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year - Homare Sawa of Japan.
B. FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football - Josep Guardiola of Spain.
C. FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football - Norio Sasaki of Japan.

Players (Men) who have won Ballon d’Or 3 times

Player Total Years
Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) 3 1971, 1973, 1974
Michel Platini (France) 3 1983, 1984, 1985
Marco van Basten (Netherlands) 3 1988, 1989, 1992
Lionel Messi (Argentina) 3 2009, 2010, 2011

About Ballon d’Or The “Ballon d’Or” or the “golden ball” is presented to the player who has been voted to have performed the best over the previous calendar year. The award was conceived in the year 1956 by France Football’s chief magazine writer Gabriel Hanot. The inaugural winner was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool. In the year 2010 the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged and the world’s best player has since been awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year.