ZURICH – Soccer great Leonel Messi, considered to be the greatest soccer player in the past 20 years was honored with his fourth Golden Ball reward during a FIFA ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.
NDJ World | Published: Jan 07 2013 Sports
Yet modest and humble, Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona, Spain, said that 2012 wasn’t his best year, despite being chosen as best player of 2012.
For the Argentine, this is the fourth time in a row he is nominated as best player of the year.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Real Madrid, Spain and Messi’s teammate Andres Iniesta, took second and third place.
Spaniard Vicente Del Bosque was chosen as coach of the year while player Miroslav Stoch was honored with the best goal of the year award.
In the women’s division, American soccer player Abby Wambach (32) received the Best Player of the year award. She beat her patriot Alex Morgan and Brazilian Marta to the title.
Lionel Messi (25) makes soccer history with his reward as being the only soccer player to ever receive the Golden Ball four consecutive times.
In 2012 Messi scored an incredible 91 goals breaking the long standing record of German player Gerd Müller who scored 85 goals in one season.
Other soccer legends who won the Golden Ball award several times are:
Dutchmen Johan Cruyff (71, 73, 74) and Marco Van Basten (88, 89, 92) and Frenchman Michel Platini (83, 84, 85).
Lionel Messi received the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Golden Ball Winners of the past 10 years:
2002: Ronaldo (Bra)
2003: Zinedine Zidane (Fra)
2004: Ronaldinho (Bra)
2005: Ronaldinho (Bra)
2006: Fabio Cannavaro (Ita)
2007: Kaka (Bra)
2008: Christiano Ronaldo (Por)
2009: Lionel Messi (Arg)
2010: Lionel Messi (Arg)
2011: Lionel Messi (Arg)
2012: Lionel Messi (Arg)
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