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Real Madrid midfielder Xabi: Barcelona's Messi deserves Ballon d'Or

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso says Lionel Messi deserved his Ballon d'Or trophy.

The Barcelona star was named European Footballer of the Year yesterday and Xabi congratulated the Argentine.

"The choice was not unfair because Messi deserved it, but it is also true that there were other candidates with many chances to win like Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Anyway I am glad that Xavi has been third in the voting," said Xabi of his Spain teammate.

On Sunday's defeat at Barca, Xabi insisted: "There are defeats and losses. The El Clasico is something different.

"In subsequent analysis, we gained really positive things because we are growing and we must continue so against Almeria."

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