European Player Of The Year Named

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been named as European Footballer of the Year- a surprise? No. Messi has won the award by a record margin and has now replaced Cristiano Ronaldo as Europe’s best player.

FC Barcelona v Chivas

The 22-year old has become the first Barcelona player to win the Ballon d’Or in four years. Last season Messi helped Barcelona to a record breaking treble in Spanish football- UEFA Champions League, La Liga title and Copa del Rey.

"Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009," Messi told French Football magazine.
"But I didn't expect to win with such a margin. The Golden Ball is very important to me.
"All the players who won it were great players, and some great players never won it."

Messi finished on top with a massive 473 points, Ronaldo was second with what seems like a measly 233 points. In third we have Barcelona’s Xavi with 170 points.
The highest ranked Premier League player is Man United striker Wayne Rooney with 35 points, he is ranked eighth.

Here are the top 30 European players:
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 473 points.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), 233.
3. Xavi (Barcelona), 170.
4. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), 149.
5. Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan), 75.
6. Kaka (Real Madrid), 58.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona), 50.
8. Wayne Rooney (Man United), 35.
9. Didier Drogba (Chelsea), 33.
10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), 32.
11. Fernando Torres (Liverpool), 22.
12. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), 13.
13. Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg), 12.
14. Ryan Giggs (Man United), 11.
15. Thierry Henry (Barcelona), 9.
16. Luis Fabiano (Sevilla) 8.
(tie) Nemanja Vidic (Man United), 8.
(tie) Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), 8.
19. Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid), 7.
20. Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), 6.
21. Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal), 5.
(tie) Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), 5.
(tie) Frank Lampard (Chelsea), 5.
24. Maicon (Inter Milan), 4.
25. Diego (Juventus), 3.
26. David Villa (Valencia)
(tie) John Terry (Chelsea), 2.
28. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), 1.
(tie) Yaya Toure (Barcelona), 1.
30. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), 0.

How does the points system work?
96 journalists from around the world chose their top five players. The player who they ranked as the best will get five points, the second highest- four, then the third- three. Their fourth best player will get two points and finally their fifth will get one point.

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