Messi wins new Fifa player award

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The Independent Online

Lionel Messi last night became the inaugural winner of the Fifa Ballon d'Or. The Argentine was selected ahead of his Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who both won the World Cup with Spain last summer.

Messi, 23, who scored 60 goals for club and country in 2010, 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."

The award was created by merging France Football magazine's Footballer of the Year with Fifa's World Player of the Year.

Jose Mourinho, now with Real Madrid, was named Coach of the Year for leading Internazionale to an unprecedented Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble.

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