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Messi receives Europe’s Golden Boot


BARCELONA – Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was presented with his second Golden Boot award on Wednesday in recognition for scoring the most goals in Europe’s domestic leagues last season.

Messi was yesterday also named on the Fifa Ballon d’Or list together with rival Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Neymar.

The 25-year-old Messi scored a Spanish-league record 50 goals for Barcelona, edging out fellow Spanish league star Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid by four goals.

Messi dedicated the award to his teammates, with Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol present for the ceremony in Barcelona.

“It is a prize for scoring goals, but without my teammates I couldn’t have scored them,” Messi said. “I share this award with them as I always do.

“I don’t fight for individual awards, I fight for titles. My goals are reclaiming the league crown, winning the Copa del Rey and the winning the Champions League again. Those are my goals, team goals.”

The Argentina international won his first Golden Boot in 2010 for his 34 goals that helped Barcelona win the league title.
Messi is among the favourites to win the 2012 Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player.

Messi, nicknamed “The Flea” for his uncanny ability to dribble through defenders, has shattered a number of records over the past year.

He scored an unprecedented 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona last season, breaking the previous European club record of 67 goals set by Bayern Munich’s Gerd Mueller in 1972-1973 and the prior world club mark of 70 established by Archie Stark of Bethlehem Steel in the American Soccer League in 1924-1925.

Fifa Ballon d’Or nominees
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) Didier Drogba (Chelsea, now Shanghai Shenhua)
Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan, now Paris-SG)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Santos)
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Robin van Persie (Arsenal, now Manchester United)
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

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