Messi claims top award
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has won the inaugural Uefa Best Player in Europe award.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 25/08/11 6:40pm
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi has been crowned the winner of the inaugural Uefa Best Player in Europe award.
The 24-year-old, considered to be one of the best players of his generation, was selected ahead of team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2010-11 season.
Messi, who scored 53 goals and helped lead Barcelona to Champions League glory and the Spanish title, was given the Uefa accolade following a vote by journalists across Europe.
Uefa created the honour after France Football magazine combined its traditional European award with Fifa's world player prize.
Throughout a glittering career the Argentine has won numerous accolades including the FIFA Ballon d'Or, World Soccer Player of the Year and FIFPro World Player of the Year.
Messi will also be aiming to help Barcelona in their pursuit of retaining their Champions League trophy after being drawn in Group H alongside AC Milan, BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen.