Messi Retains FIFA World Best Player Crown

Argentina’s Lionel Messi has again won the world best player award. Messi made history last night when he collected the fourth consecutive title of best player in the world. The FIFA Ballon d’Or award took place in Zurich. United States player Abby Wambach claimed her first FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala held at the Zurich Kongresshaus this evening.

Vicente del Bosque, the Spanish national team coach, and Sweden’s new women’s national team coach Pia Sundhage (former USA coach) were the winners of the FIFA World Coach of the Year awards for men’s and women’s football, respectively.

Aged 25, Messi concluded 2012 by scoring over 90 goals. He also finished top scorer in the UEFA Champions League 2011-2012 season with 14 goals. Meanwhile, Vicente del Bosque added the European title to his 2010 FIFA World Cup crown when leading Spain to victory at EURO 2012.

In women’s football, 2012 was the US national team’s year. Sundhage and Wambach led the US to its second Olympic gold medal in London after defeating the Japanese team in the final and thus exacting revenge for the FIFA Women’s World Cup final the previous year, which Japan won for the first time in their history.

These awards were decided after a poll in which the captains and head coaches of the men’s (for the two men’s awards) and women’s (for the two women’s awards) national teams, as well as international media representatives selected by French football magazine France Football, voted for candidates in each of the four categories. Each group’s votes represented one third of the final result.

It was an unforgettable night, with many former and current football stars on stage and on the red carpet. The international audience was entertained with a flavour of Brazil as we look to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, as well as by Scottish singer Amy MacDonald.

The FIFA Ballon d’Or was awarded for the third time following the amalgamation of the FIFA World Player of the Year award with the France Football Ballon d’Or in 2010. Lionel Messi won the FIFA Ballon d’Or after polling 41.60% of the votes, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo on 23.68% and Andrés Iniesta on 10.91%.