Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi has been awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or Award for 2011, finishing ahead of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and club team-mate Xavi.

Messi, who described the achievement as a “big honour”, received the award for the third consecutive year, having previously been crowned in both 2009 and 2010.

The 24-year-old was chosen as the winner having been given the most votes by journalists, national coaches and national captains from around the world.

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