Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi has been named European Footballer of the Year to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
French magazine France Football said that Messi beat last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo into second place by a massive margin – 473 points to 233.
From the BBC report: Messi, 22, won the treble of Champions League, the Spanish championship and Spanish cup with Barcelona last season.
He also top-scored in the Champions League with nine goals. One of them was in the defeat of Manchester United in the final in Rome.
Third and fourth place in the voting were Messi’s Barcelona team-mates, the midfielders Xavi (170 points) and Iniesta (149). Striker Samuel Eto’o, who left Barcelona for Inter Milan during the close-season, was fifth. The highest-placed English player was Wayne Rooney, who was eighth.