The Argentine has won his first individual award of the new season after he beat Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award
Image Credit: PeriodistasAnon – Twitter
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the 2014/2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe award for his great performance for the Catalans last season, beating off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Luis Suarez.
Messi had a very successful season with Barcelona last campaign as he scored a whooping 58 goals and gave 27 assists in 56 games to help them win a historic treble. The Argentine didn’t have the best start to the season but sprung into life as the season went on to notch 43 goals in La Liga and 10 in the Champions League.
The award means Lionel Messi becomes the first and only player to win the award twice since it’s inauguration in 2011. Messi won the first edition in 2011 and has added to that tally bg the 2015 prize.
“I am happy to win this award. I want to thank everyone, especially my teammates, without them I wouldn’t be here,” Messi said after being presented with the award.
“It was an incredible year for us. It was difficult but luckily for us the team were united and we achieved our objectives.”
Lionel Messi had already won the award for the Best goal of the year before the Gala started for his wonder second goal in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in last season’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg clash at the Camp Nou. Messi was joined by goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen who got the Best Save of the Year for his sublime effort to keep out Lewandowski’s goal bound strike in the second leg.
With the Award, Lionel Messi broke his own record for highest number of votes gotten in the history of the award as he scooped an amazing 49 votes out of the possible 54. 97% of votes means Messi is a distant winner of the award with Luis Suarez in second spot with just 3 votes and Cristiano Ronaldo in third place with 2. The previous record for most votes ever gotten was also held by Messi who got 39 votes in his 2011 triumph
Out of the 54 journalists that voted from each European Country, representatives of Azerbaijan, France and Ukraine voted for Luis Suarez while Cristiano Ronaldo got his two votes from his hometown Portugal as well as Turkey. The remaining 49 journalists including Spain’s Marca voted for Lionel Messi.
The award kick-start Lionel Messi’s campaign as the Argentine looks set to win his 5th Ballon d’Or title in January, 2015.