Lionel Messi is the world’s best player again.
The Barcelona and Argentina star attacker Messi captured his third successive FIFA Ballon d’Or award on Monday.
Messi, firm favourite to win the award again beat his fellow Barcelona team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Critics have always questioned whether players like Pele from the 50s could play today,” said Manchester United manager Ferguson.
“The answer to that is great players would play in any generation. Lionel Messi could play in the 1950s and the present day, as could Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff because they are all great players.
“Lionel Messi without question fits into that category.”
Meanwhile, Messi Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola won the coach of the year award, while there were honours handed out to Brazilian young superstar Neymar, who won the FIFA Puskas award for the best goal of 2011 and Japan’s women’s World Cup-winning captain Homare Sawa, who took the women’s player of the year crown.
The FIFPro World XI
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Man United), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Man United).