Messi's record Ballon d'Or win

Barcelona and Argentine forward Lionel Messi has won football's most prestigious individual award, the Ballon d'Or, for a record fourth consecutive time. he beat Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who was second, and Barca teammate Andres Iniesta.

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Balotelli received 0.07% of Ballon d'Or vote

Associated Press reporter Rob Harris has tweeted:

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Who voted for Balotelli in Ballon D'Or? Captains of Austria, Laos & Palestine put him 3rd=3 points. 23rd in overall list with 0.07% of vote

Click here to see the full voting results.

Former footballers praise 'unbelievable' Messi

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler and former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira have tweeted:

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The best player EVER without a shadow, if you didn't think/know already... #Ballondor

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Fourth #ballondor for #messi. An unbelievable achievement for an unbelievable player.

Why Lionel Messi won his fourth Ballon d'Or

  • Lionel Messi played 69 games for club and country in 2012 and scored 91 goals.
  • The Argentine beat Gerd Muller's 40-year record for most goals scored in a calendar year. The German scored 85 goals.
  • The forward also made 22 assists in 2012, ten more than fellow nominee Cristiano Ronaldo but one less than Andres Iniesta.
  • Messi helped his team Barcelona win the Copa del Rey and build up an 11 point gap at the top of La Liga this season.
  • The diminutive forward has won his record-breaking fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or.

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Messi congratulated on record award win

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero congratulated his Argentina team mate Lionel Messi on his record fourth Ballon D'Or victory:

QPR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and former Barcelona player Gary Lineker also took to Twitter:

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Congratulations to Lionel Messi on winning his 4th Ballon d'Or. Totalmente merecido

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