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Lionel Messi gets La Liga honors

Barcelona may have lost its league title but the team had no shortage of La Liga 2011-12 season awards winners with Lionel Messi named best player and former coach Pep Guardiola named best coach.

Messi was also named La Liga's best striker while Andres Iniesta was named best attacking midfielder and Carlos Puyol named to the fair play award. Barca, saw its three-year reign as Spanish champions ended by Real Madrid. Barcelona B's Marc Bartra was voted the best defender in the second division.

For Madrid, Iker Casillas named best goalkeeper, Sergio Ramos best defender and Xabi Alonso best central midfielder.

The awards are voted for by the players and coaches of the top two divisions in Spain.

Messi edged out Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema for the best player award in the top flight after netting 50 goals last term.

"I want to thank the coaches who have voted me the best player and my professional colleagues who have named me best player. I'm very happy and very proud," said Messi after winning his two awards for the fourth successive year.

In his final season at the Nou Camp, Guardiola led Barca to victory in the Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Copa, European Super Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. The Catalan giants were also second in La Liga and reached the Champions League semifinals.

Malaga youngster Isco won the breakthrough player crown while the best player in the second division was Deportivo La Coruna veteran Juan Carlos Valeron.


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