en, application, interactive_carousel
FC Barcelona's star forward wins his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or. He's the only player in the history of the sport to win the trophy four times
Messi beat out Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Andrés Iniesta, second and third respectively
Leo Messi has the Midas touch. This Monday afternoon, at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, the Argentine genius was named the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the fourth time in as many years. He beat out Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Andrés Iniesta, second and third respectively. The winner of the award in 2006, Paolo Cannavaro, was charged with reading the name of the winner and awarding the trophy.
“It’s an honour”
Messi, 25 years old, was visibly touched to win the Ballon d’Or: “Winning this award again is incredible. It’s impressive. I want to share this with my FC Barcelona teammates, especially with Andrés [Iniesta], and also with the players of the Argentina national team. It’s an honour. Thank you to my family, my friends, and lastly and especially to my wife and son, he’s the most precious thing God has given me.” His speech was followed by long standing ovation by the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala attendees.
Messi surpasses Cruyff, Platini and Van Basten
With his latest Ballon d’Or conquest, Messi is now the only footballer in the history of the sport to ever win the trophy four times. He surpassed Michel Platini’s three consecutive Ballon d’Or wins (1983, 1984 and 1985), the three trophies won by Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973 and 1974) and Marco van Basten’s three wins (1988, 1989 and 1992). Leo Messi, simply put, is a living legend.
The Argentinian has continued to rewrite the football history books with his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or
Everything Leo Messi touches turns to gold! In Zurich today, he has done something no man has ever done before. He has been named the best player in the world for the fourth year running. After beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrés Iniesta he has once again shown us that, as far as his trecord breaking career is going, there simply are no limits.
Leo Messi’s first Ballon d’Or came in December 2009, when a massive 473 points were enough to beat both Cristiano Ronaldo (233) and his FCB team mate Xavi Hernández (170).
A year later he won the award once again in that historic year when Barça players filled the podium. Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández cam second and third at the ceremony held in its now traditional venue of Zurich.
Last year, Leo Messi made it three, once again beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernández in the voting and equalling Platini as only the second player to have won the honour three times in a row.
But Messi has now gone one better than the Frenchman who is now president of UEFA. The Argentinian has set an all time record by winning the title for the fourth time.
From Platini to Messi
The record for consecutive wins in the Ballon d’Or, three, was shared until now by Michel Platini and Messi. The Frenchman was playing in the Italian Serie A for Juventus at the time of his three wins in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Enjoy all the information about the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala in Zurich
20.00 h - Lionel Messi wins his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or. Congratulations, Leo!
19.50 h - Abby Wambach (USA) wins the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award.
19.40 h - Miroslav Stoch, who plays for Fenerbahçe, wins the FIFA Puskas award.
19.20 h - Vicente Del Bosque, Spain manager, is awarded the 2012 Coach of the Year award. Franz Beckenbauer is awarded the FIFA Presidential award.
19.15 h - Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta and Leo Messi are named to the FIFA/FIFPro World XI. The rest of the team is made up by Casillas, Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo and Falcao.
18.30 h - The FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala has started.
18.10 h - The FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala will start at 18.30. It’s worth noting that in addition to naming the best player of the year, the all-star team and the best manager will also be announced.
17.30 h - The players talked to the Catalan press in the hotel and they departed for the Kongresshaus of Zurich, where the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala is set to start in the coming minutes.
17.00h - PRESS CONFERENCE PHOTOS [+]
16.45 h - Messi and Iniesta are in their room preparing for the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.
16.45h - At 17.00, the players nominated for awards will talk to the Catalan press at the Park Hyatt Zurich Hotel. At 17.30 the players will make their way to the Kongresshaus, where the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or will be announced.
16.00h - The press conference with Messi, Iniesta and Ronaldo has concluded. Del Bosque and Guardiola were also there. The Catalan manager revealed that he will manage somewhere next season.
15.50h - “It hasn’t been my best year,” says Leo Messi, who added that he “doesn’t compete against Cristiano Ronaldo.”
15.30h - The press conference with the FIFA Ballon d’Or candidates has started.
15.00h - "2012 has not been my best year," admits Lionel Messi, who added that "I do not compete against Cristiano"
15.00h - Photo Gallery of the Trip to Zurich
13.00h - The players and other members of the expedition are now in Zurich. Upon receipt by FIFA have been conducted on Hotel
12:00h - Road to Zurich
11:00h - Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta are three of the five players who want to Zurich. This has been explained in social networks:
Con mis compis en la gala!With my mates at the show! twitpic.com/bt7tcl— Andrés Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) gener 7, 2013
Camino de Zúrich, esperando en el aeropuerto con el resto de compañeros. twitter.com/3gerardpique/s…— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) enero 7, 2013
Since Luis Suárez won the award in 1960, Barça have continued to provide winners for the Ballon D'Or and with Messi's third successive win this evening, they have now overtaken Milan and Juventus to become the Club with most winners –nine. Messi, with three; Cruyff with two as a Barça player, three total; Stoichkov, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Suárez with one apiece, are the players who have won the award at the Club.
Andrés Iniesta and Leo Messi are two of the three finalists for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or which will be awarded this Monday in Zurich. Along with Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), the two FC Barcelona players will compete for the award reserved for the best player in the world. It’s worth noting that the Argentinian has won the last three editions of the award and Iniesta was named the Best Player of the EURO and the Best Player in Europe of the Year by UEFA.
Ten first team players, and ex-FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, are in the running for awards this evening at the 2012 FIFA awards gala in Zurich
Messi and Iniesta will travel to Zurich on Monday for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony. Both Barça players are finalists for the award along with Cristiano Ronaldo. President Sandro Rosell, members of the Board of Directors, FCB players nominated to the FIFA FIFPro 2012 team, and the players' families will travel with the two Ballon d'Or finalists to Switzerland.
The Argentine player, during the pre-gala press conference, declared, "I'm more interested in team awards than what I might win individually"
Iniesta, the other Barça player up for the award, explained that "standing next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi is very special"
Speaking to the press in Zurich, FIFA Ballon d’Or nominee Leo Messi said, “it hasn’t been my best year. I’m more interested in team awards than I am about what I might win individually. There have been years, where we won more titles, that have been better.”
“I play to win titles”
During the pre-gala press conference, which also saw Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo -Ballon d'Or nominees - and Vicente del Bosque and Pep Guardiola - nominees for the Coach of the Year award- field questions from reporters, Messi explained that “when I was eight years old I never dreamed of being the best. I don’t dream about it now. The only thing that interests me is to play with the ball and enjoy [the game].” Messi went on to rubbish any claims that he shares a rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo. “I play to win titles, that’s what we have in the end. I don’t compete against him [Ronaldo], I do my best to help my team, my national team and to continue improving.” He added: “It would be stupid to not consider Cristiano Ronaldo among the three best footballers in the world, but I also believe that Xavi, Iniesta and Kun Agüero should be here.”
Iniesta pleased to be in Zurich
For Andrés Iniesta being in Zurich alongside the two FIFA Ballon d’Or candidates is an honour: “Being here is special. There are so many footballers that play at a high level so standing next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi is special.” The FC Barcelona midfielder added: “Independently of who wins the award tonight, I’m happy. What I’ve experienced this year has been fantastic, I've had unique moments. I hope this year will be just as good as last year.”
Pep insisted that the best prize would be to see Barça: ”playing the same or better “
Guardiola confirms that he will be back in charge of a team next year
Josep Guardiola, finalist of the FIFA Coach of the Year Awards for 2012, spoke to the media this afternoon and declared: “watching Barça is a spectacle. I was lucky enough to be at this fantastic Club for a few years and for me the best prize would be to see Barça playing the same or better than when I was there. Barça continues to be a Club
which is respected for the way they play and for all the things they do well”.
Return to management next year
After his astonishing record at Barça, where he won 14 out of a possible 19 titles, Guardiola is enjoying a sabbatical year off, but he is at the top of many club’s wish list for next year and he admitted: “I’ll be back training next season” , although he still hasn’t decided where.
No looking back
Guardiola insisted that he hasn’t missed being a manager, though he is keen to come back into the game: “I’ll be back because I am still young, but I am enjoying life right now – it’s what people like me do. I don’t look back – whatever decisions I took it was because I had to take them and I’m not looking at the whys and wherefores - all that is just not important”.
No to Brazil
Guardiola refused to be drawn as to where he will work next season – “it would show a lack of respect to talk about one team or another”, but definitively dismissed rumours he may take over the reins of the Brazilian national side: “it’s a privilege to be associated with a side that has won so many World Cups, but I’ve always felt that a national team should be managed by someone form that country”.
Highlighted link: The club with ten Ballons d’OrFOOTBALL The club with ten Ballons d’Or Following Leo Messi’s fourth Ballon d’Or, Barça players have now won the prestigious honour a record ten times