Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for a record 4th year in a row in front of fellow superstars of both the Men’s and Women’s game.
The award voted by recognised Journalists, Managers, Coaches and Players is awarded to the player who is deemed the best from the year just passed.
Messi, scored 91 goals in total during 2012 for both Barcelona and Argentina, surpassing German striker, Gerd Müller‘s record of 84 in a calendar year.
The 25 year old beat club and country team mate, Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid‘s Portugal forward, Cristiano Ronaldo to the award.
“To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable.. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.”
Messi, who said his “mind went blank” once he was declared the winner, won with 41.6% of the votes, with Ronaldo on 23.68% and European player of the year winner, Iniesta on 10.91%.
Despite Messi’s goals this year, Barcelona failed to win the Spanish La Liga or Champions League, but are now running away with the La Liga of 2012-13.
Spain manager, Vincente Del Bosque won the Men’s coach of the year award after leading Spain to Euro 2012 success again.
Whilst the FIFA Men’s Team of the Year included Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta. Here it is in full;
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid); Dani Alves (Barcelona) , Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) , Marcelo (Real Madrid); Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).
Questions will be asked regarding the exclusion of Robin Van Persie, as well as the team being solely La Liga based.
In my personal opinion, it proves once again that the Spanish league is the best in terms of footballing quality, but the English Premier League is the best for sheer excitement and entertainment.
Debates may also start in some corners regarding the Player award, but I think there is no argument regarding Messi’s winning. 91 goals in a year – the best ever. That says it all.
However, both Iniesta and Ronaldo would have been worthy winners in any other year, where Messi was not about to steal the limelight. (Cristiano Ronaldo won the award in 2008).
Certain stand out votes may be interesting to read (nice to see FIFA having some transparency at last!);
Roy Hodgson, England manager: (he gets one as a national team manager): 1) Messi; 2) Ronaldo; 3) Falcao
Steven Gerrard, England captain: (one as national team captain): 1) Messi; 2) Ronaldo; 3) Xabi Alonso
Vincent Kompany, Belgium captain: 1) Messi; 2) Xavi; 3) Falcao.
Lionel Messi‘s vote, Argentina captain: 1) Iniesta; 2) Xavi; 3) Sergio Aguero – not himself, or Ronaldo, interestingly.
Iker Casillas, Spain captain: 1) Sergio Ramos; 2) Cristiano Ronaldo; 3) Xavi – no Messi, interestingly.
All the votes can be read here.
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory