It was so near but so far for Leo Messi at the Ballon d’Or Gala on Monday at the Kongresshaus in Zurich. The Argentinian has been named world player of the year on four occasions (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), but a fifth honour has eluded him after the trophy was presented for the second year in a row to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. The man who kept goal in Germany’s triumphant World Cup campaign in Brazil, Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich, came third.

The Barça striker is the only player to have ever won the Ballon d’Or four times. There had been three previous three-time winners, current UEFA president Michel Platini (1983, 1984 & 1985) former Barça player and manager Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973 & 1974) and Holland’s Marco van Basten (1988, 1989 & 1992).

#BallondOr2014 - Presentación de Messi como... por fcbarcelona

Iniesta and Messi reactions after the Ballon d... por fcbarcelona

Back to top