Prior to Pep Guardiola's arrival at Barcelona, Xavi was just another of many talented Spanish midfielders, and you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone who placed him in the bracket of the world's best midfielders. Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is one such legend, and 2009 was the year where he made the strongest case to be named a Ballon d'Or winner.
Immediately behind him are more Premier League players in Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fábregas. While Xavi might today be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the game, the ex-Spanish international did not always enjoy such status. 1 Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), 473 points, 2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), 233, 5 Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Internazionale), 75, 7 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Barcelona), 50, 8 Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), 35, 9 Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), 33, 10 Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), 32, 11 Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool), 22, 14 Ryan Giggs (Wales, Manchester United), 11, 16= Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United), 8, 16= Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), 8, 19 Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atlético Madrid), 7, 28 Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern Munich), 1, 28= Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, Barcelona), 1, 30 Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), 0, • Lionel Messi beats Cristiano Ronaldo by 240 points, Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester United in the Champions League final.
"Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009," Messi told France Football. 1970 | Fernando Torres Das Ergebnis der Abstimmung gab France Football am 1. 12 out of the 39 Ballons d'Or presented during this time period would have been awarded to South American players; in addition to Pelé and Diego Maradona, Garrincha, Mario Kempes, and Romário were retrospectively recognized as worthy winners. However, while Xavi might have been great in his own right, the exponential growth in his fame and status under one year of Guardiola's management serves as proof of the fact that he was the most important player to the successful implementation of the tiki-taka system.  Barcelona and Real Madrid have supplied the most Ballon d'Or winners since 1995.
1983 | 1957 | Three players have won the award three times each: Johan Cruyff of Ajax and Barcelona, Michel Platini of Juventus, and Marco van Basten of Milan.  Over time, the award has gone to a more exclusive set of leagues and clubs. Ronaldo fand in immerhin 76, Xavi in 59 und Iniesta noch in 57 Voten Berücksichtigung. 1972 | Lionel Messi surely has to be crowned European Footballer of the Year. Wayne Rooney was the highest placed England international in eighth. Lionel Messi has won the 2009 Ballon d'Or, awarded to the European footballer of the year, after inspiring Barcelona to the treble last season. The forward was outstanding as the Catalan club won the Champions League, the Spanish title and the Copa del Rey. 2003 | Stanley Matthews of Blackpool was the inaugural winner of the Ballon d'Or. Still doubt Xavi's importance to Barcelona?
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