. December 22, 2009 SouthAmerica: My congratulations to Lionel Messi. I have been watching Lionel Messi playing soccer since he was 17 years old and played for the Argentinean National Team of under-17. Today Lionel Messi was the winner of the FIFA âPlayer of the Yearâ award for 2009. He deserves that prize, since there is no question about it today he is the best soccer player in the world. I go even further in another 15 years he will be recognized as the best Argentinean soccer player of all time - and even a much better soccer player than Diego Maradona ever been. .