Lionel Messi was crowned the World's Footballer of the 2011 year, an award called Fifa Ballon d'Or last night at a colourful function in Zurich, Switzerand.
In winning the award, his third straight since 2009, the Argentian and Barcelona foward Messi beat close contenders Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid, as well as team mate at Barca Xavi Hernandez.
Messi polled 47.88% of all votes cast by national team captains, coaches and invited journalists through out the world. Ronaldo was next with 21.6% and Xavi closed with 9.23% of all the votes counted.
Messi becomes one of three world stars to bag the award for World Footballer of the year three times in recent times, following in the footsteps of countryman Ronaldo (1996, 1997, 2002), Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000, 2003).
Only three other players have been able to win the award three times in a row in the past. These are French man and current UEFA President Michel Platini, and Dutch men Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.
Pep Guardiola, Messi's coach at Spain was voted Coach of the Year, beating contenders Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho.
Japan's women's World Cup-winning captain Homare Sawa won the award for the women's player of the year, with Japanese manager Norio Sasaki earning his coach of the year award for women's football.
On a night of rich pickings for Japan, the women's national team won Fair Play award in the women's category.
Brazil's Neymar pocketed the Best goal award for his amazing strike in a league match between Santos and Flamengo, beating the contending goals scored by Wayne Rooney (an overhead kick goal for Man U against derby rivals Manchester City) and Messi' super-strike against Arsenal in the Champions League.