Messi European Player of Year

MONACO - Lionel Messi of European champions Barcelona was named the European Club Player of the Year on Thursday for helping his side lift the Champions League trophy last season.

Argentine Messi was also named forward of the year with his club mate Xavi Hernandez, who also played a key role for Barca last season, named as midfielder of the year ahead of a third Barcelona club mate Andres Iniesta.

Chelsea and England skipper John Terry was named defender of the year while Edwin Van der Sar, of last season's Champions League runners-up Manchester United, was named goalkeeper of the year.

These awards are for their performances in the Champions League.

UEFA president Michel Platini presented a special award to Paolo Maldini, who won five European Cups with AC Milan during a playing career that spanned more than 20 years until he retired at the end of last season.