• Switzerland edition
 
Messi wins top FIFA award at Zurich gala
Messi at Zurich gala holding the trophy for world's best footballer — again. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Messi wins top FIFA award at Zurich gala

Published: 07 Jan 2013 22:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2013 22:04 GMT+01:00

Lionel Messi added yet another record to his stellar list of achievements over the past 12 months on Monday when he won an unprecedented fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or at a FIFA gala in Zurich.

The accolade seals Messi's status as the greatest football player of his generation after he saw off Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate
Andres Iniesta for the prize.

The 25-year-old Barcelona player received a vote share of 41.60 percent to 23.68 for Ronaldo and 10.91 for Iniesta.

Messi and former French star, UEFA president Michel Platini, had prior to Monday been the only players to win three straight Ballon d'Or awards while
Dutch greats Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten both won the accolade on three occasions.

Spain's Vicente del Bosque was named coach of the year for 2012, seeing off competition from Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho and former Barcelona coach Josep
Guardiola.

Messi's success crowned another landmark year for the Argentine who is already the top scorer in La Liga for the ongoing season with 25 goals, having also broken Gerd Mueller's 40-year record for the most goals in a calendar year.

He finished 2012 with an astonishing 91 goals in all competitions.

But Messi has insisted his scoring records will mean nothing if Barcelona do not go on to take the La Liga title off Real or fail to win the Champions League.

"It is incredible to receive this prize once again and it's impressive it makes it four in a row," he said.

"I would like to share this with my Barca teammates — particularly with Andres, who is here with me," said the ever unassuming superstar.

"I am also thinking of my teammates in the Argentina squad."

Beforehand he had said winning for Barcelona outweighed any personal glory.

"My goals are to win titles with the team, the Spanish league, Spanish Cup or Champions League is more important than any personal records."

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova had already eulogised his player in advance of Messi's win.

"Leo's great quality is that he plays as if he is still a child," Vilanova said.

"He was always good as a youngster and you didn't need to be a coach to say that. It was a joy to see him play as a 15-year-old and that continues now."

Until he can lift top honours with Argentina, however, some observers will insist he cannot be classed as the greatest player ever, moving ahead of Pele and Diego
Maradona.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits
Credit Suisse offices in Zurich. Photo: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that its first quarter net profit took a heavy hit as its investment bank reeled from slumping trading in bonds. READ () »

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Sylviane Berthod (right in each of the photos) and her partner. Photos: Facebook

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage

Former Swiss alpine ski champion Sylviane Berthod has announced her engagement to marry another woman in a public way — on her Facebook page. READ () »

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia
EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia

The UK has scuppered, at least temporarily, an agreement in principle between Bern and Brussels over the free movement of people between Switzerland and Croatia, the Swiss broadcaster RTS says. READ () »

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents
Photo: AFP

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents

A New York regulator probing Credit Suisse's role in enabling tax evasion has demanded a trove of additional documents from the bank, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. READ () »

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe
Claude Makélélé in his coaching role last year at Paris Saint Germain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe

Former France midfielder Claude Makélélé is facing a tax probe at home and in Switzerland, a filing showed Tuesday, as reports suggested it could relate to his investments in a Geneva football team. READ () »

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese
Photo: Switzerland Cheese Marketing

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese

The Swiss are known for their great love of cheese but a doctor from Lausanne is warning that they need to reduce their consumption of gruyère, emmental and other varieties because of the health risks. READ () »

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva
Photo: UNOG

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva

Ukraine on Tuesday ruled out any discussion of its "internal affairs" at talks this week with Russia, the US and EU, amid spiralling tensions between Kiev and pro-Moscow militants. READ () »

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO
WMO headquarters in Geneva. Photo (detail): Mark Parsons

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO

An "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean is likely this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world, the Geneva-based UN weather agency warned on Tuesday. READ () »

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales
Paul Bulcke: maintains 'organic growth' will improve. Photo: AFP

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales

Nestlé, the world's leading food industry group, saw its sales slide 5.1 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2013, the Swiss-based company said on Tuesday, blaming the effect of exchange rates and strength of the franc. READ () »

Humans rights chief decries Syrian torture
UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay. Photo: UNHCR

Humans rights chief decries Syrian torture

The UN's human rights chief in Geneva condemned on Monday the "routine" use of torture in Syrian detention facilities, as a new report said victims were raped, beaten and had their teeth and toenails pulled out. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
Advertisement:
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
International
Swiss voters support bid to establish lofty minimum wage: poll
National
Switzerland's largest cities set to back regulated 'cannabis clubs'
Business & Money
Franc surges against other currencies on rising Ukraine concerns
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,084
jobs available