The award for the best sports team of 2011 is the latest in a long list of awards won by FC Barcelona and its players in yet another fantastic year. It is only the second time that a soccer club has won the Laureus Award for the team of the year.
FC Barcelona was one of the big winners at the Laureus Awards ceremony last night in London. President Sandro Rosell collected the award for the best sports team of 2011. This was yet another honour bestowed on Barça in recognition for their amazing football and collection of major trophies, including the third consecutive Liga title and the Champions League at Wembley, not to mention both the Spanish and European Supercups and the Clubs World Cup in Japan. FC Barcelona therefore become only the second soccer team to collect the award after Manchester United back in 2000. The award is more traditionally given to national, Olympic or Formula One teams.
FC Barcelona have won all kinds of honours in recent times. The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IHFFS) named Guardiola's side the best of 2011 with 367 points. Leo Messi was also named top goalscorer, Xavi best playmaker and Guardiola the best coach.
The global press has also been honouring Barça. Following the victory at the World Clubs Cup in Japan, the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) named FC Barcelona the top team of 2011, and also gave the club the fair play trophy.
But more local associations have also been honouring Barça. At the 'Festa de l'Esport Català' (Catalan Sports Fiesta), organized by the Unión de Federaciones Deportivas Catalanas (UFEC) and the newspaper 'Sport', the world champions were named best men's sports team of 2011, where Víctor Valdés also collected a prize for the best Catalan sportsperson. And at the 'Mundo Deportivo' gala, Carles Puyol collected the Fair Play award and David Villa took the Extraordinary Award.
Plenty of individual titles
Barça have a great team, but also some truly outstanding individuals, and in recent years it has become a common sight to see them collecting trophies. Messi recently won his third Ballon d'Or in Zurich, where five FCB players, Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves. were in the All Star XI, while Guardiola was named best manager. UEFA also made the Argentinian the best player in Europe at their ceremony in Monaco last August. In the domestic league, the LFP presented awards to all of Valdés, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Guardiola, while Valdés also won the Zamora Award for the best goalkeeper for the fourth time. (via FCBarcelona.cat)