Monday, 7th January, 2013

Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or at a ceremony in Zurich.

Messi beat off competition from club team-mates Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to pick up the accolade.

It is the fourth consecutive year that Messi has won the Ballon d’Or.

The Argentine enjoyed yet another superb year in 2012 and scored 91 goals in the 12 months, beating the record of 85 set by Gerd Muller in 1972.


"To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable", he told FIFA at the ceremony, as he collected the accolade.

"The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.

"I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona. Andres, it has been great to train and play alongside you.

"I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentina national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you."

Messi is the first player ever to win four consecutive Ballon d’Or accolades, surpassing the record of three that he had held with UEFA president Michel Platini.

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