The Barcelona man bagged the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the fourth time running. Messi has eclipsed such stars as Van Basten, Cruyff and Platini, all of whom earned three. Platini was the only one of them to win three in a row before Leo.
Messi received 41.6% of the voting, trumping Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo (23.6%) and his blaugrana teammate Andrés Iniesta (10.9%). Those who voted on the award were national team captains, coaches and the media. ‘La pulga’ was the most voted for player for all groups.
Fourth went to Xavi Hernández, followed by Atlético de Madrid star Radamel Falcao and Spanish national team and Real Madrid captain, Iker Casillas. Interesting to note the top 6 players in the world all ply their trade in Spain. Pirlo, Drogba, Van Persie and Ibrahimovic round out the top 10.
Del Bosque won best coach for his work with the Spanish national side. ‘La furia roja’ has experienced an unparalleled run of success under the mister.
Lionel Messi leaves me shaking my head at the suit bowtie combo.
- Gallery: FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala 2013 (metro.co.uk)
- Great names from Ballon d’Ors past (worldsoccer.about.com)
- Voters’ picks revealed! (fifa.com)