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Messi named Euro best footballer
Monaco, Aug 28 (Agencies):
Published on 28 Aug. 2009 11:13 PM IST
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Barcelona's Lionel Messi has been named the best player of the 2008-09 Champions League at the draw for this season competition in Monaco. The Argentina forward was voted the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year by the coaches of the 15 other teams who reached the knockout rounds of the 2008-09 tournament. "It is an enormous joy to be able to receive such an important award as this,'' Messi said. "And it's also a pleasure to be able to thank all the people who voted for me and who decided I should get this award.'' Messi found the back of the net nine times in Barcelona's march to the title, including a clinching goal in the final against Manchester United. Messi was voted best forward while teammate Xavi Hernandez was named the best midfield player, Chelsea's John Terry the best defender and United's Edwin van der Sar the best goalkeeper. The shortlists, as well as the final winners, were selected by sixteen of Europe's top coaches, namely those who led their sides to the First Knockout Round of last year's competition. As expected, FC Barcelona dominated the nominations and ended up scooping two of the possible five accolades, while English sides such as Manchester United and Chelsea - not to mention Liverpool - were not far behind. Every single nominee came from one of these four clubs.

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