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Sierra Leone’s most high profile player Mohamed Kallon has said that Lionel Messi deserves the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’or award because as he puts it “he’s simply the best’. (Photo: Lionel Messi with the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’or)
The 23-year old Argentine was named the winner of the merger FIFA Ballon d’or award at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night beating Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
The award is based on votes cast by captain and coaches of national teams as well as journalists from around the world including the President of the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) Mohamed Fajah Barrie.
“Messi didn’t win the World Cup but in my opinion he was voted the best because he scored lot of goals by far than Iniesta and Xavi,” Kallon told sierraleonefootball.com.
He added: “An attacker always gets an edge over midfielders or defenders when it comes to such an award because he scores more goals. Besides Messi is very skilful and is simply the best in his generation.”
Indeed Messi is regarded by many as the most gifted footballer of his generation, he scored an impressive 60 goals for club and country in 2010.
In 2009 he won the FIFA and Ballon d’or awards separately and many thought this time round Iniesta and Xavi were favourites to clinch the most prestigious individual award in world football.
Iniesta’s goal in the grand finale against Netherlands won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for Spain last summer, and Xavi, was the play-maker of the Spanish side. The three players won the 2009/2010 Spanish Laliga title with Barelona.
After receiving the award Messi said: “I’m surprised to win but pleased to be here with my friends.”
He added: “To win it makes it even more special. I want to share it with all of my friends, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians.”
Real Madrid’s Jose Murinho won the best coaching prize award mainly for winning the treble with Inter Milan including the prestigious UEFA Champions League. He became the first winner of the award.
The Brazilian Marta retained the FIFA Women’s player of the year award.
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown
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