Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi was named World Player of the Year by world football's ruling body FIFA on Monday.
Messi thus succeeds Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's top player, as voted by the team captains and coaches of all national teams.
Messi has played a pivotal role in the recent success of Spanish giants Barcelona, who have won a total of six trophies in the past season, including the Champions League title and the World Club Cup trophy last week.
The Argentine forward's talents were given the ultimate thumbs-up earlier this month when he was voted the winner of the Ballon d'Or for the European Footballer of the Year.
Messi, 22, had been in contention with Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi, both from Spain, Brazilian striker Kaka of Real Madrid, the winner in 2007, and last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo.