News24

Award double for Spain, Xavi

2010-12-17 08:07

Madrid - Spanish midfielder Xavi, who orchestrated Spain's Soccer World Cup triumph, was named as World Soccer's Player of the Year on Thursday. The world champions completed a Spanish double by being named Team of the Year.

In a vote of the 50-year-old magazine's international readers, Portuguese Jose Mourinho was named as World Manager of the Year and Germany's Thomas Muller as the Young Player of the Year.

Xavi, 29, who plays for Barcelona, won 25.8 percent of the votes cast to finish ahead of last year's winner and club teammate Lionel Messi of Argentina, who polled 24.1 percent.

Wesley Sneijder of European champions Inter Milan and World Cup runners-up Netherlands was third with 17.3 percent.

Xavi is the first Spaniard to win the World Player award, now in its 29th year.

Spain won the Team of the Year with an overwhelming 63.3 percent of the vote, ahead of Inter Milan (16.5) and Barcelona (5.3).

It was not a clean sweep for the Spaniards, however, as Mourinho, who has since moved to Real Madrid, won the manager's award for the third time following his Champions League triumph and Italian Cup and League double with Inter Milan.

He polled 48.3 percent of the vote, ahead of Vicente Del Bosque (Spain) and Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay).
 

Reuters