Lionel Messi: Barcelona star dedicated 2010 Ballon d'Or to Xavi & Andres Iniesta

Lionel Messi won his second Ballon d'Or in 2010

No footballer in history has won more Ballon d’Or awards than Lionel Messi.

Throughout the course of his playing career, the Barcelona legend has lifted the sport’s most prestigious personal accolade on six occasions.

Messi’s first Ballon d’Or triumph came in 2009 and that was the first of four consecutive victories for the Argentine.

Between 2009 and 2012, there’s absolutely no doubting that the 33-year-old was the most talented player on the planet.

However, there will always be controversy surrounding the 2010 edition of the Ballon d’Or.

Messi comfortably won the award with 22.65% of the vote, with Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta (17.36%) and Xavi Hernandez (16.48%) finishing second and third.

Many believe one of the two Spaniards should have won the Ballon d’Or over Messi after they had both helped guide their country to a maiden World Cup victory in 2010.

It seems even Messi himself was aware that his colleagues had achieved more than him that year, because he actually dedicated the award to them.

On the plane home from the ceremony in Zurich, the Argentine delivered a short, wholesome speech in honour of Xavi and Iniesta. 

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“I just want to make a toast to Xavi and Andres, who, despite the fact I won, deserve the award – so this is for them,” Messi said.

Fair play, Leo. His humble nature is one of many reasons why he is adored my millions across the world.

However, there are a significant number of football fans who will argue that Messi should not have even been on the Ballon d’Or podium in 2010.

That year, Wesley Sneijder famously won the treble with Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan and was then the key man in Holland’s run to the World Cup final in the summer.

But that still wasn’t enough for a place in the top three, with the Dutchman receiving just 14.48% of the votes.

To this very day, it feels like Sneijder was robbed in 2010.

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

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