Messi wins Ballon d'Or for third year in row - Yahoo! Eurosport
Argentina forward Messi, 24, made it three in a row after beating Barca team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo by a landslide to the prize. Messi took almost 48 per cent of the vote, with Ronaldo second with less than 22 per cent; Xavi, whose orchestration of Barca and Spain's midfield is widely credited for their success, was a distant third with just over 9 per cent.
Messi: "It's incredible" | FC Barcelona
Minutes after the conclusion of the FIFA awards ceremony, Leo Messi reiterated the speech he gave on the podium: "it’s incredible. I want to dedicate this to all of my teammates. Like Guardiola said, if we don’t win anything collectively, we can’t hope to win individual awards." He once again had words of praise for Xavi: "I knew that if won that I would dedicate it to him. It’s the fourth year that we’re here together."
To compare Lionel Messi to anybody else is unfair – on them | Sid Lowe | guardian.co.uk
It is no longer about whether or not Messi is currently the best player in the world; it is about whether he might even be the best there has ever been. "Messi is amongst the best ever," Sir Alex Ferguson said. "Messi," Pep Guardiola said, "could be the best player of all time." This is his third Ballon d'Or. He is 24, remember. There has long since been a severe shortage of superlatives; they have all been used up.
Guardiola named top coach | Sky Sports
Pep Guardiola of Barcelona has been named as the FIFA Coach of the Year, while Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson has been given the presidential award for services to football. Guardiola, 40, led Barcelona to five trophies in 2011, including the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and a third consecutive Spanish Primera Liga title.
Five Barça players named to the FIFA FIFPro World XI | FC Barcelona
Of the 11 nominated Barça players the following 5 players were named to the FIFA / FIFPro World XI: Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves. It’s yet another homage to Barça’s dominance in world football. Last year, with six Barça players named to the team, Barça was the highest represented team in the FIFA / FIFPro World XI.
'We'll realise what Lionel Messi has achieved when we look back at his career in the future', says Barcelona's Andoni Zubizarreta - Goal.com
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has voiced his opinion that people will only fully appreciate the achievements of Lionel Messi once the Argentina international has ended his playing career. "So much has been said about Leo and when we look back on his career in the future we'll realise just what he's achieved," Zubizarreta was quoted as saying on the official Barcelona website.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson advises Pep Guardiola to stay at Barcelona - Goal.com
Sir Alex Ferguson feels Pep Guardiola should ignore thoughts of succeeding him as Manchester United boss and instead remain with Barcelona. "Why do you have to replace me?" Ferguson replied with a wry smile on his face as he turned to address his Barcelona counterpart. "If I were you I would stay at your club." While Ferguson was joking about the insinuated threat to his position, his assertion that Guardiola could not be in a better position at the moment was 100 per cent genuine.
Barça become Club with most Ballon d’Or winners with nine | FC Barcelona
Since Luis Suárez won the award in 1960, Barça have continued to provide winners for the Ballon D'Or and with Messi's third successive win this evening, they have now overtaken Milan and Juventus to become the Club with most winners –nine. Messi, with three; Cruyff with two as a Barça player, three total; Stoichkov, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Suárez with one apiece.
Xavi and Messi praise the collective effort | FC Barcelona
In the press conference held ahead of this evening's ceremony, both Messi and Xavi insisted on the importance of their teammates in their own nominations for the Ballon D'Or. Xavi explained his game: "depends almost completely on my teammates", whilst Messi explained: "by being together we bring out the best in each of us".
Cesc, the header specialist | FC Barcelona
In the 15th minute, Cesc took advantage of Dani Alves’ cross from the right to open up the scoring with a fantastic header. With the goal, Cesc got himself on the list of Barça players that managed to score in their derby debuts. The midfielder isn’t in bad company, he joins the other skillful goal-scoring debutants Stoichkov, Pizzi, Kluivert, Ronaldinho, Deco, Ibrahimovic and Villa.
Barcelona's Jonathan Dos Santos desperate to prove himself to coach Pep Guardiola - Goal.com
The Mexico international has not featured for the Catalans in a competitive fixture so far this season but with Seydou Keita now unavailable for up to a month because of his nation’s involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, Dos Santos believes he could see first-team action in the coming weeks.
Paris Saint-Germain close to signing Barcelona's Maxwell - report - Goal.com
Brazilian defender Maxwell appears to be on his way out of Barcelona in the January transfer window as French giants Paris Saint-Germain are close to adding the left-back to their ranks, Le Parisien reports. The former Inter and Ajax star had previously been linked with Benfica, but it is believed that he prefers a move to PSG and could complete his transfer in the upcoming days.
Ten questions for 2012 | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo!
Barça's classy 3-1 win at the Bernabéu last month — followed by the 4-0 demolition of Santos in the Club World Cup — proved that they remain the world's finest club side, but their inability to dispatch La Liga's lesser lights has enabled Madrid to establish a five-point lead in the Spanish championship.
Brazil & Santos star Neymar wins 2011 Fifa Puskas award - Goal.com
Santos forward Neymar has been announced as the winner of the 2011 Fifa Puskas Award for the best goal of the year. The Brazil international, who beat Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for the honour, was presented the award by Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez.
Mourinho defends Ronaldo 'celebration' - Yahoo! Eurosport
Jose Mourinho has defended Cristiano Ronaldo for not celebrating after scoring a goal at the weekend, a move which drew unusually strong criticism from the pro-Real Madrid media. The Portugal forward made an angry gesture and walked back to the centre circle with his head bowed after netting the final goal in Real's 5-1 home win over Granada on Saturday, when he also received whistles from sectors of the Bernabeu crowd.
Camuñas out for a fortnight | LFP
Villarreal midfielder Javier Camuñas will spend the next two weeks on the sidelines while he recovers a tear to his left obturator muscle.The diagnosis was made after the player was subjected to tests on Monday. Other casualties include Musacchio and Marchena, who are both reported to progressing well with their respective physical woes and also Wakaso, who has undergone surgery on a fractured nose and will rejoin the squad next week.
Granada agree deal for Audax Italiano's Matias Campos Toro - Goal.com
The club revealed on their official website that they had sealed a deal with the Liga side to sell 22-year-old Campos Toros, who is most at home on the left side of midfield. Granada will purchase 50 per cent of the player's contract rights, although Audax added that the move depended on personal terms being agreed between the two parties.