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09.01.2012 » FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 goes to Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo gets 2nd place

Lionel Messi, FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 winner

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi received his 3rd Balon d'Or in a row, leaving once again, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernandez behind. CR7, as all other Real Madrid players, couldn't attend the ceremony and so all the spotlights turned to Barcelona main figures, Leo Messi and Pep Guardiola.

As already expected, the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 trophy was given to Barcelona's Lionel Messi, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2nd place, and Xavi with the 3rd spot. The Argentinian player received 47,88% of the votes, while CR7 got 21,6% and Xavi 9,23%. After tonight's decision, Messi collected his third Balon d'Or in a row (2009, 2010, 2011) and Cristiano Ronaldo remains with one (2008), still won when the Portuguese player was wearing the Manchester United jersey.

Cristiano Ronaldo FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 wallpaper

FIFA Balon d'Or ceremony highlights:

FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony family photo

Real Madrid players and coaching staff didn't attend this year's FIFA Balon d'Or ceremony, as it has already been announced last week, due to the fact that the Merengues will face Malaga tomorrow, for the Copa del Rey. However and even though the biggest awards were handed to Barcelona figures (Messi crowned as the "Best Player of the Year" and Pep Guardiola as the "Best Coach of the Year"), the Merengues still shined in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI (Best line-up of the year). Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo made it to the best starting eleven of the year, joining 5 Barcelona players (Daniel Alves, Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi) and 2 Manchester United players (Vidic and Wayne Rooney).

Lionel Messi and Ronaldo smiling at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

In the coaches category, Pep Guardiola got ranked above Real Madrid's José Mourinho and Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the "Best Coach of the Year" prize. Concerning women's football, the Japanese Homare Sawa won the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year and received the trophy from the hands of the Colombian pop singer, Shakira. Another star of the night has been Neymar, who is still a Santos player, after winning the FIFA Puskas award, for the best goal in 2011. The Brazilian player scored a tremendous goal in a Santos vs Flamengo clash, after dribbling several players and finishing in style with the outside part of his foot. You may watch the awarded goal in the video below:

Daniel Alves, Piqué, Vidic, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi Rooney and Pelé at FIFA FIFpro World XI award 2011-2012 (Best eleven/line-up of the year)

Ironically, Messi received the FIFA Balon d'Or trophy from the hands of the Brazilian legendary player, Ronaldo ("Fenómeno"). After a quick speech, the Argentinian had a special message destinated to his teammate, Xavi, who once again failed to win the award. Messi: "You also deserve it and it's a pleasure to play on the field with you", said the Barcelona player. After that, Messi answered a few questions in a quick interview granted to FIFA.

Shakira and Lionel Messi photo at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Messi: "I am truly proud to have won this award for three times and particularly for having done it three times in a row, which wasn't easy at all. I'm very happy and this trophy has been as good as the first one", noted the Argentinian. Regarding his teammate Xavi, Messi assures he's very honored for having the chance to play with the Spanish midfielder.

Daniel Alves, Messi, Pelé, Neymar, Ronaldo, Lothar Mathaus and Sir Alex Ferguson at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 awards

Messi: "Xavi already spoke for several times about what he thinks of me and I've done the same about him. We definately need each other and our friendship goes beyond any award." When asked if he can still improve his game and perform at a higher level, the Argentinian player didn't want to raise expectations much more. Messi: "I hope I can keep performing the way I've been doing and winning team and collective trophies, since that's crutial in order to be able to win these kind of individual awards, such as the FIFA Balon d'Or. I also want to win titles for Argentina and I truly hope that it may happen soon", noted Barcelona and Argentina's main figure, Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi, Guardiola and Xavi Hernández at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012

Messi: "To be honest, I never tought about being able to win so many trophies and awards while being so young. I've always dreamed about having the chance to play in a professional first division, but it never crossed my mind that I could be winning all these things at this point of my life. I want to keep enjoying playing this sport in Barcelona and I hope we can continue winning titles. My wish for 2012 would be the same as every other year: to win every competition we enter, even though we're aware it's becoming more and more difficult as time passes", remarked Lionel Messi on his final words granted to FIFA. With Ronaldo literally out of the picture on this gala, all the spotlights turned to Messi. Let's hope that next year the story can be different.

Lionel Messi in a purple suit at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Real Madrid next game is against Malaga for the Copa del Rey, in the 10th of January 2012. You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Malaga, as well as Tottenham vs Everton and Osasuna vs Barcelona from our football live streams section. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be on the line-up against Malaga.

Real Madrid vs Malaga kick-off time (10-01-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 04:00
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 22:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 21:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 19:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 16:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 13:00
Beijing (China) | GMT-8: 13:00

Sources: ronaldo7.net / fifa.com

FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 gala/ceremony photos:

Lionel Messi fashion purple suit at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Ronaldo looking worried as he announces Lionel Messi name as the winner of FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012

Neymar showing his Puskas Goal of the Year trophy, won at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Shakira and her boyfriend, Barcelona's Gerard Piqué at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala red carpet

Beckenbauer, Blatter, Shakira and Sir Alex Ferguson at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Hot Shakira in a red dress, at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 awards event

Pelé kissing Shakira at FIFA balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Shakira handing the FIFA Women's World Best Player of 2011-2012 award to Homare Sawa, from Japan

Lionel Messi and Shakira taking a photo at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Lionel Messi kissing Shakira

Lionel Messi, Xavi and Piqué talking and smiling, while Pelé says something to Shakira behind them

Shakira and Messi smiling at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 ceremony and gala

Homare Sawa and Lionel Messi at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Homare Sawa and Lionel Messi ugly face, blinking an eye at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 awards

Messi saluting Homare Sawa from Japan, at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2011-2012, Homare Sawa from Japan

Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Wayne Rooney in a suit, with pop singer, James Blunt, at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala

Wayne Rooney unshaved face, showing all his bear

Wayne Rooney new grown hair, holding his award at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011

Neymar on stage at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Neymar, Pelé and Joseph Blatter, at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 awards

Neymar, Puskas best goal of 2011 award winner, at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 gala

Neymar speaking at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Neymar giving thumbs up in a black suit, at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 ceremony

FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012, Lionel Messi looking at Xavi Hernández

Lionel Messi telling Xavi a secret, at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 awards event

Lionel Messi thinking at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 awards ceremony

Lionel Messi and Xavi friendship, as they whisper at each other in FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011 interview

Messi and Xavi in an interview to the FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011 gala

Sir Alex Ferguson, Guardiola, Messi and Xavi at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 ceremony and gala event

Xavi Hernández smiling at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Lionel Messi signing a Barcelona jersey at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Lionel Messi taking a photo with fans at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 red carpet entrance

Neymar signing autographs at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Messi signing an autograph at a Barcelona shirt/jersey in FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011 event

USA goalkeeper, Hope Solo, at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Sir Alex Ferguson talking with Pep Guardiola at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 gala

Guardiola dedicating the Best World Coach of the Year award to Tito Vilanova at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 ceremony

Guardiola interview to FIFA, at the Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala event

Guardiola receiving his award for Best Coach of the Year (2011)

Sir Alex Ferguson smiling at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 interview

The King Pelé saluting at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

FIFA FIFPro XI, Best line-up of the year (2011-2012) awards

Lionel Messi, Michel Platini and Ronaldo at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 event ceremony

FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 trophy

FIFA World's Best Coach of the Year (2011-2012) award/trophy

Lionel Messi's family, with his father, mother and Messi girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 awards event

Messi receiving the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 award from Ronaldo

Butrageño and Zinedine Zidane representing Real Madrid, talking with Pelé at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala and ceremony

Messi holding the trophy with Ronaldo smiling behind him at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011

Lionel Messi center of attentions at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala

Lionel Messi looking serious at the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 interview

Lionel Messi looking funny and dressed as a clown, in a purple smoking at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 ceremony

Pelé hugging Messi at FIFA Balon d'Or 2011 awards event

Daniel Alves, Lionel Messi, Pelé and Neymar at FIFA's Balon d'Or 2011-2012 gala/ceremony

Ronaldo announcing Lionel Messi name, as the winner of the FIFA Balon d'Or 2011-2012 trophy/award

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