Lionel Messi has been named Fifa World Footballer of the Year to complete a remarkable 2009 for the Argentine forward.
The 22-year-old, who helped Barca win the Club World Cup on Saturday – their sixth trophy of the year – also won the Ballon d’Or award this year. Readers of World Soccer also voted the Argentinian their player of the year.
“A magnificent year for me and Barca has ended in the best way,” said Messi.
He beat off competition from last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaka and Andres Iniesta.
In a vote by captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams, Messi won 1,073 votes, Ronaldo 352, Xavi 196, Kaka 190 and Iniesta 134.
Messi becomes the first Argentine to win the award, which was inaugurated in 1991.
Messi has played down the attention, saying: “No, please, I am not king of the world now, nor the number one, I don’t believe in those things.
“I am the same person as always and I have the good fortune to play in a great team. It was an historic year for Barca and for me but it’s thanks to the work of everyone.”
Cristiano Ronaldo won the inaugural Fifa Puskas Award for the best goal of the year for his 40-yard strike while playing for Manchester United against Porto in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in April.
FIFPro team of the year: Casillas; Dani Alves, Evra, Terry, Vidic; Xavi, Iniesta, Gerrard; Ronaldo, Messi, Torres.