FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2010

Published January 11th, 2011 - 10:54 GMT

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Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona FC receives the men's player of the year award during the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland.
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Image 1 of 12: Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona FC receives the men's player of the year award during the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland.

Silvia Neid (L) of Germany winner of women's coach of the year, Lionel Messi (2nd L) of Argentina winner of the men's player of the year,FIFA President Sepp Blatter (2nd R) and Marta (R) of Brazil winner of the women's player of the year.
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Image 1 of 12: Silvia Neid (L) of Germany winner of women's coach of the year, Lionel Messi (2nd L) of Argentina winner of the men's player of the year,FIFA President Sepp Blatter (2nd R) and Marta (R) of Brazil winner of the women's player of the year.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (L) of South Africa receives the Presidential award from Sepp Blatter (R) President of FIFA.
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Image 1 of 12: Archbishop Desmond Tutu (L) of South Africa receives the Presidential award from Sepp Blatter (R) President of FIFA.

Jose Mourinho (R) of Portugal receives the coach of the year award alongside Silvia Neid of Germany winner of the women's coach of the year award.
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Image 1 of 12: Jose Mourinho (R) of Portugal receives the coach of the year award alongside Silvia Neid of Germany winner of the women's coach of the year award.

Marta (L) of Brazil winner of the women's player of the year receives her award from FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R).
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Image 1 of 12: Marta (L) of Brazil winner of the women's player of the year receives her award from FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R).

Jean-Francois Hayana (R) captain of the Haiti women's U17's team receives the Fifa Fair Play award.
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Image 1 of 12: Jean-Francois Hayana (R) captain of the Haiti women's U17's team receives the Fifa Fair Play award.

FIFA World XI award including Cristiano Ronaldo,Maicon,Lucio,Gerard Pique,Iker Casillas, front row L to R: David Villa,Lionel Messi,Wesley Sneijder,Xavi,Andres Iniesta,Puyol.
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Image 1 of 12: FIFA World XI award including Cristiano Ronaldo,Maicon,Lucio,Gerard Pique,Iker Casillas, front row L to R: David Villa,Lionel Messi,Wesley Sneijder,Xavi,Andres Iniesta,Puyol.

FIFA World XI award players back row L to R: Marco Van Basten who presented the award,Ronaldo,Maicon,Lucio,Gerard Pique,Iker Casillas, front row L to R: David Villa,Lionel Messi,Wesley Sneijder,Xavi,Andres Iniesta,Puyol.
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Image 1 of 12: FIFA World XI award players back row L to R: Marco Van Basten who presented the award,Ronaldo,Maicon,Lucio,Gerard Pique,Iker Casillas, front row L to R: David Villa,Lionel Messi,Wesley Sneijder,Xavi,Andres Iniesta,Puyol.

Jamie Callum entertains the audience.
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Image 1 of 12: Jamie Callum entertains the audience.

Lionel Messi (C) of Argentina alongside Xavi (R) and Andres Iniesta (L) of Spain during a press conference ahead of the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala.
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Image 1 of 12: Lionel Messi (C) of Argentina alongside Xavi (R) and Andres Iniesta (L) of Spain during a press conference ahead of the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala.

L to R: Andres Iniesta of Spain, Lionel Messi of Argentina, Xavi of Spain, Vicente Del Bosque coach of Spain and Pep Guardiola coach of Barcelona.
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Image 1 of 12: L to R: Andres Iniesta of Spain, Lionel Messi of Argentina, Xavi of Spain, Vicente Del Bosque coach of Spain and Pep Guardiola coach of Barcelona.

Birgit Prinz (R) of Germany, Marta (C) of Brazil and Fatmire Bajramaj (L) of Germany all contenders for women player of the year.
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Image 1 of 12: Birgit Prinz (R) of Germany, Marta (C) of Brazil and Fatmire Bajramaj (L) of Germany all contenders for women player of the year.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) prize is considered the top award for individual players in the sport of football. It was created in 2010 by merging the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

The Ballon d'Or has a long and venerable history, being created by France Football magazine in 1956 to recognise the top European player of the year. Voted for by journalists, the competition was opened up to players of all nationalities playing in Europe by 1995; in 2007 players from every country and every league were permitted, and the voting pool grew to take in journalists from across the world.

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