Fans tip Messi for top award
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As the climax to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 approaches, all eyes are on the final between Spanish giants Barcelona and Copa Libertadores winners Estudiantes. While the crowd at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be looking forward to seeing which side is crowned champions, many observers will also be intrigued to find out who wins the coveted title of best player of the tournament.

At the beginning of the competition, FIFA.com asked the question: Who will be UAE 2009’s best player? Although a number of stars have lit up the tournament, Barcelona’s Argentinian star Lionel Messi is the one that appears to have caught everybody’s attention.

Although there were doubts as to whether Messi would make an appearance in the semi-final against Atlante, he came on as a second half substitute and took less than two minutes to make his mark on the game. Showcasing all his talent, the brilliant 22-year-old weaved his way through the Mexican rearguard to give Barcelona a vital 2-1 lead.

Most of the visitors to FIFA.com expect that Messi will take the prize for best player. SonyaPico from Canada had this to say: “He has repeatedly shown he is the best player in the world. He has superb skill, excellent style and is very hard working on the field with a never-say-die attitude.”

Gladbach from Germany agreed: “Lionel Messi will be named best player without doubt”, before adding: “Mauro Boselli has also played well in the tournament and Denilson has shown how capable he is.”

Krlos.CHI from Chile said: “So far, Lionel Messi has done the most to help Barcelona win the title they lost in 2006.” Argentinean che_09 argued: “The award will depend on who wins the final, and it is between Messi and Veron.”

Whilst Messi is most people’s first choice, other surprise suggestions have included “Denilson, as he is top scorer and has also played in goal,” from Nosososo of Syria.

Mexican fan TheProphet65 said that “the winner will be Atlante’s midfield dynamo Christian ‘The Hobbit’ Bermudez or the goalkeeper Federico Vilar as even though the Cancun based team lost to Barcelona he was a star.”

Finally, Elhichkok from Libya has his own opinion about the nominees for best player, commenting: “Including Pohang’s Brazilian striker Denilson in the list isn’t logical as the Steelers’ midfielder Leandro Benitez has scored two goals, as has Auckland City’s Jason Hayne.”