Lionel Messi began the day shaking hands with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and ended it holding the award for Player of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards.
The Barcelona superstar was the guest of honour at the 10th Dubai Sports Conference held at Madinat Jumeirah and arrived in the morning to considerable fanfare.
He returned to the venue later that night to collect his prize as the outstanding footballer of 2015 for his feats with Barcelona in which the Catalan club won five trophies, including the treble of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey.
Barca themselves were named Club of the Year while Josep Maria Bartomeu was President of the Year.
Other winners at the ceremony included Belgium’s Marc Wilmots who was named Coach of the Year, Benfica earned the accolade of Academy of the Year and Saudi defender Yasser Al-Shahrani was GCC Player of the Year.
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