Leo Messi lifting up his fourth Ballon d'Or trophy/ PHOTO: FCB Archive

Leo Messi once again claimed the prestigious award in Zurich in record breaking fashion. The Argentine beat Cristiano Ronaldo and team mate Andrés Iniesta to claim the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time, beating the previous record of three awards held by Michel Platini, Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff.

Messi’s Ballon d’Or reign began back in December 2009 when he took the individual prize for the very first time, finishing with 473 points ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernández.

A year later he claimed the famous trophy for the second time with Barça taking a clean sweep of the top places. Andrés Iniesta finished in runners-up position and Xavi Hernández in third place in what was a memorable night in Zurich for the blaugranes.

Messi’s hat trick of Ballon d’Or award came in 2011. Once again he pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and team mate Xavi Hernández to the prize, equalling Michel Platini’s feat of three successive awards.

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