Lionel Messi Wins FIFA Player of the Year Award
Lionel Messi was named the male FIFA Player of the Year at the FIFA Balloon d'Or according to Yahoo! Sports, The Seattle Times and several others.
Messi joined the female winner, Marta, for the award in their respective leagues. The Seattle Times reports:
"Lionel Messi won his second consecutive FIFA men's player of the year honor Monday and Marta was selected the top women's player for the fifth year in a row.
Argentine forward Messi beat out Barcelona of Spain teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta for the renamed FIFA Golden Ball Award, which merged the FIFA player of the year with France Football's Golden Ball.
Messi became the first repeat winner since Ronaldinho in 2004 and 2005.
Messi, 23, received 22.65 percent of the votes cast by national-team coaches and captains, plus selected reporters. Iniesta got 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 percent to finish third for the second consecutive year.
Marta, a 24-year-old Brazilian forward, got 38.2 percent of the vote and Germany's Birgit Prinz got 15.18 percent. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, a former University of Washington standout from Richland, was eighth in the voting at 3.85 percent.
Marta had a stellar season with the Women's Professional Soccer League champion FC Gold Pride. But the franchise, based in Santa Clara, Calif., folded in November."
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