Rio Ferdinand backs Ballon d'Or for Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Rio Ferdinand believes that Lionel Messi is a deserving winner of the Ballon d'Or award.

Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes that it was the correct decision to hand Lionel Messi the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the third successive year.

The Barcelona playmaker was announced as the winner at an award ceremony in Zurich earlier this evening.

"Messi is Fifa Ballon d'Or 2011 and rightly so, Ronaldo + Xavi have been quality but this guy was on another planet," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.

Messi scored as Barcelona defeated Ferdinand's United 3-1 in the 2011 Champions League final.

Lionel Messi
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