The amazing Marta won her fifth consecutive FIFA player of the year award Monday, ahead of Germany’s Fatmire Bajramaj and Birgit Prinz.
The FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala, which took place in Zurich, raised the curtain on the new decade in style. Attracting the cream of the soccer world, who had come to pay tribute to the leading players and coaches of 2010, the highlight of the event was the award of the inaugural FIFA Ballon d’Or, a fusion of the FIFA World Player of the Year award and France Football magazine’s Ballon d’Or.
Following a short film summarizing the trio of female finalist’s achievements of 2010, the trophy for women’s world player of the year was handed to an elated Marta. The Brazilian forward was rewarded for her MVP season with the Gold Pride of the Women’s Professional Soccer league in the United States.
“It is another award for me, but that I wish to share with my colleagues from FC Gold Pride, Brazil and Santos FC. It’s almost too good to be true,” said the winner with a tear in her eye.
On the men’s side, Lionel Messi won his second straight FIFA player of the year award, becoming the first repeat winner since Ronaldinho in 2004 and 2005. The Argentine forward beat out Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta for the renamed FIFA Golden Ball Award, which merged the FIFA player of the year with France Football’s Golden Ball.
Germany national team coach Silvia Neid won the inaugural women’s coaching award, beating out Maren Meinert of Germany’s world champion under-20 team and U.S. women’s team coach Pia Sundhage.
Marta leads her team to 2010 WPS All-Star game victory