Lionel Messi is the FIFA Ballon d’Or Best Male Footballer of 2012 beating out teammate Andrés Iniesta and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi is the first player in history to win the Ballon d`Or four times in succession. He previously shared the record of three consecutive victories with Michel Platini, while Dutch duo Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten also won the prize three times.
Cristiano Ronaldo came second in the voting after steering Real Madrid to the Liga title with a string of fine performances, and impressing at Euro 2012 as he guided Portugal to the semi-finals of the competition while Euro 2012 hero Iniesta could only manage third.
The Argentine attacker has broken many records, including the highest goal scorer in a calendar year.
The 25 year old has scored 91 strikes in 2012 to break Gerd Muller`s previous record of 85 goals in a year, scoring 79 for Barcelona and 12 more for Argentina.
Messi delivered a short acceptance speech in the ethos of the previous three. Below is the official translation from FIFA.com:
“To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words. I would like to recognize my other colleagues from Barcelona: Iniesta, it has been great to train and play alongside you. I would also like to recognize all of my friends in the Argentinian national team. Everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you.”