Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Surprise: Messi Recongnized As Europe's Finest

Courtesy of UEFA:

Lionel Messi, a key figure in FC Barcelona's march to UEFA Champions League glory last season, has more to celebrate after collecting the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year prize at the UEFA Club Football Awards in Monaco. The Argentinian international was also selected as Best Forward while team-mate Xavi Hernández took the Best Midfielder trophy. Manchester United FC's Edwin van der Sar was nominated Best Goalkeeper and Chelsea FC captain John Terry completed the honours list as he received his third Best Defender gong from Paolo Maldini.

Sensational season
Messi had scored Barcelona's second goal – his ninth of the 2008/09 competition – in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome, as the Catalan side became the first Spanish team to lift the Liga, Copa del Rey and European Champion Clubs' Cup titles in one season. If the headed goal from Messi that capped his sensational campaign was a collector's item, his presence on the scoresheet was more predictable: the 22-year-old struck 38 goals in all competitions last term.

'Important award'
Messi succeeds Cristiano Ronaldo as the Club Footballer of the Year and is the second Argentinian international to land the prize after Fernando Redondo in 2000. "It is an enormous joy to be able to receive such an important award as this," he said. "And it's also a pleasure to be able to thank all the people who voted for me and who decided I should get this award."

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