POSTED: Monday December 21st 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Messi takes first award, Marta obtains record-breaking fourth crown

FIFA World Player Gala 2009

Argentina’s Lionel Messi collected his first FIFA World Player of the Year     title while Brazil’s Marta became the first to obtain     four FIFA Women’s World Player of     the Year awards at the 19th FIFA World Player Gala at the     Zurich Kongresshaus on Monday evening. It     was a night to remember, with on-stage appearances by former and current     football stars, prominent celebrities and a musical show headlined by     Italian pop star Laura Pausini.

   

Messi had an     outstanding 2009, leading his club FC Barcelona to a historic season and     collecting the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and Super     Cup crowns and the Spanish Liga,     Super Cup and Cup titles along the way. The 1,073 points he obtained     in the vote, participated in by the coaches and captains of 147 national     teams, saw him win by a clear margin ahead of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in second (352     points) and Spain’s     Xavi (196), Brazil’s     Kaká (190) and Spain’s Andrés Iniesta     (134).

   

Marta     thrilled fans in the revamped Women’s Professional Soccer League in the     U.S., where she won the     Golden Boot and was elected best player of the season with Los Angeles     Sol, and also claimed the titles of the women’s Copa Libertadores and Copa de Brasil with Santos. Votes were     cast by 130 coaches and captains for the women’s award and Marta won for     the fourth consecutive time (833 points), ahead of Germany’s Birgit Prinz (290),     England’s Kelly Smith     (252), Brazil’s     Cristiane (239) and Germany’s Inka Grings (216). An     overview of the complete results can be found on www.FIFA.com

   

Two new awards were presented at the gala.     The FIFA/FIFPro World XI to     honour the best eleven players of the year, as chosen by over 50,000     professional players from all over the world, went to a real “dream team”     featuring Iker Casillas (Spain) in goal; Daniel Alves (Brazil), Nemanja     Vidic (Serbia), John Terry (England) and Patrice Evra (France) in defence;     Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi (Spain) and Andrés Iniesta (Spain) in     midfield; and Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and     Fernando Torres (Spain) up front.

   

Also handed out for     the first time was the FIFA     Puskás Award     for the “most beautiful goal” of the year as voted for on FIFA.com by over     120,000 fans. This prize, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc     Puskás, the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the     1950s, went to Cristiano Ronaldo for his fantastic goal in the UEFA     Champions League match between FC Porto and Manchester United on 15 April     2009.

   

Her Majesty     Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan received the FIFA Presidential Award for her     relentless efforts to help provide an education to children all over the     world through her role as co-chair of the “1Goal: Education for All”     campaign. This campaign was launched in August 2009 at London’s Wembley     Stadium and aims to provide an education to the over 72 million children     globally who are denied the chance to go to school. It has been endorsed     by world leaders, footballers and fans from all over the world and is also     supported by FIFA and its President Joseph S.     Blatter.

   

   

   

 

   

 The FIFA Fair Play Award was given     posthumously to Sir Bobby Robson for his outstanding commitment to the     values of fair play throughout his career. Respected and admired by     football fans from all over the world, he was considered as a true     gentleman both on and off the pitch by team-mates and rivals alike. The     award was collected by Lady Elsie Robson, widow of the legendary English     player and manager who passed away in July     2009.

   

 

   

Finally, the FIFA Development Prize went to     the Chinese Football Association for its commitment to a new FIFA     grassroots programme in China PR. The programme, which     has been     launched in 44 cities and involves over a million children throughout the     country, will help to move the focus in China PR away from elite football     towards the development of a comprehensive grassroots     programme.

   

 

   

More information about the 2009 FIFA World     Player Gala and the award winners can be found on     FIFA.com.

   

   

 

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Keywords · FIFA World Player Gala 2009 · Lionel Messi · FIFA World Player of the Year


Name: Nicolas Maingot
Organization: FIFA
Email:
Phone: +41-43/222 7272
URL: http://www.fifa.com/index.html


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