Lionel Messi, Barcelona and Argentina star, became the inaugural winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or – the FIFA Men’s World Player of the Year 2010, at the awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland. The award is a fusion of Fifa’s Player of the Year gong, inaugurated in 1991, with France Football magazine’s Ballon D’Or, which has been going since 1956.
Current Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho won the inaugural FIFA World Coach of the Year award for his treble of Serie A, Champions League and Copa Italia with Inter Milan in the 2009-10 season. His impressive start to the 2010-11 season saw him voted for the award ahead of Spain’s World Cup winning coach Vicente Del Bosque and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola.
The merger of the two player of the year awards means an increased voting panel with selected journalists joining the coaches and captains of national teams, who chose Fifa’s award. The awards were based on the votes of coaches and captains of national teams and some select journalists from around the globe.
Lionel Messi, as he accepted the award, said, “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win today, but it was already great to be here next to my two mates. To win it makes it even more special. I want to share with all of my friends, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians.”