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Barcelona winger and all-round jinky genius Lionel Messi has scooped the Ballon d’Or by a record margin, beating second-placed (and last year’s winner) Cristiano Ronaldo by a full 240 points. The Argentine was the Catalan club’s top performer last year, sweeping them to a treble of trophies that included Spanish title, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, scoring 38 goals in the process (including nine in the Champions league, which made him top scorer).

‘Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009,’ Messi told France Football, who conduct the survey every year. ‘But I didn't expect to win with such a margin. The Ballon d'Or is very important to me. All the players who won it were great players, and some great players never won it.

‘For me it's a big honour to win. I dedicate it to my family, they were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me.’

Other notable entries, outside of the six players that are involved with Barca (Samuel Eto’o now plays for Inter in Italy, but himself scored a hat load of goals for Barca last season, including the opening goal in the Champions League final), were Wayne Rooney, who clocked 35 points and Steven Gerrard, who finished in tenth with 32 points.

  1. Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), 473 points
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), 233
  3. Xavi (Spain, Barcelona), 170
  4. Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), 149
  5. Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Internazionale), 75
  6. Kaká (Brazil, Real Madrid), 58
  7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Barcelona), 50
  8. Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), 35
  9. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), 33
  10. Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), 32

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