Lionel Messi has again been officially crowned as the world’s best footballer. The Daily Shift’s Josh Prenderville has the story…
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon D’Or award for a record-breaking fourth consecutive time, essentially confirming his status as the best player in the world.
The Barcelona forward took 41.6% of the votes at FIFA’s annual awards ceremony in Zurich, beating off competition from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (23.7%) and his Barcelona team mate Andres Iniesta (10.9%).
Messi had already broken records in 2012 by scoring 91 goals in a single calendar year, beating former German striker Gerd Muller’s previous tally of 85.
The Argentine scored 56 league goals in total during the calendar year, including 50 in 35 matches. This is coupled with an eye-watering 12 goals in 9 matches for his country, meaning Messi averages a goal every 63 minutes he plays.
Messi is the first man to win the prestigious award four times in a row, eclipsing current UEFA President Michel Platini’s three victorious years between 1983 and 1985.
However, in order to break the all-time record for consecutive awards, Messi must win the Ballon D’Or in 2013 and 2014, in order to beat Brazilian striker Marta, who win the FIFA women’s world player of the year award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
After receiving his award from former Italian World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, Messi described the honour as an “unbelievable” one.
Messi was also included in Fifa’s world team of the year, which was made up entirely of players of either Barcelona or Real Madrid, apart from Atletico Madrid’s much sought after striker Falcao.
Spain national coach Vicente Del Bosque won FIFA coach of the year after steering them to a third major championship in a row following their Euro 2012 triumph, while former German captain Franz Beckenbauer picked up the FIFA presidential award.