What have Lionel Messi and Sir Stanley Matthews got in common?

Gabriel Hanot, football editor of Paris newspaper , "France Football", presents Stanley Matthews, CBE, with a gold and silver football shaped trophy at Blackpool Town Hall to mark his selection as 'Balon D'Or winner'
Gabriel Hanot, football editor of Paris newspaper , "France Football", presents Stanley Matthews, CBE, with a gold and silver football shaped trophy at Blackpool Town Hall to mark his selection as 'Balon D'Or winner'
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Lionel Messi was named World Footballer of the Year last night – following in the footsteps of our very own Sir Stanley Matthews.

The Barcelona star beat off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to pick up the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time in seven years in Switzerland.

Blackpool’s Matthews was the first winner of the coveted award 60 years ago.

Our picture shows Gabriel Hanot, football editor of ‘France Football’, presenting Matthews with the gold and silver football-shaped trophy at Blackpool Town Hall in 1956.

The winger, known as the ‘Wizard of the Dribble’, beat Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano to that inaugural trophy.

Matthews made almost 400 appearances for Blackpool between 1947 and 1961 and became the first footballer to receive a knighthood in 1965.