Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi 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 23 year-old was one of a three man shortlist including his Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta who had won the World Cup with Spain during the summer.
The awards were based on the votes of coaches and captains of national teams and some select journalists from around the globe. As it proved, Messi, who scored an astonishing 60 goals for club and country in 2010 and is widely regarded as the most gifted player of his generation, had done enough to impress the voters despite his poor showing with Argentina in the World Cup.
A modest 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.
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 FIFA Puskas Award for best goal was given to Hamit Altintop's volleyed goal for Turkey against Kazakhstan.
Awards List -
Men's World Player of the Year: Lionel Messi
Women's World Player of the Year: Marta
Men's Coach of the Year: Jose Mourinho
Women's Coach of the Year: Silvia Neid
FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2010 - Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain), Maicon (Inter and Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona and Spain), Lucio (Inter and Brazil), Carles Puyol (Barcelona and Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain), Xavi (Barcelona and Spain), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan and Holland), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), David Villa (Barcelona and Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina).
FIFA Puskas Award: Hamit Altintop