Messi wins FIFA World Player award for record 4th time

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Zurich, Jan 8: Barcelona star Lionel Messi became the only player to win the FIFA player of the year award four times in a row, beating rival Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta.

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Messi, 25, won the FIFA Ballon d'Or for the straight time following an outstanding year. The Argentine superstar scored 91 goals in 2012 breaking the 85-goal record previously held by Gerd Muller in 1972.

Lionel Messi win 4th FIFA ballon d'Or

Messi received 41.60 per cent of the points in votes by national team coaches and captains plus selected media. Ronaldo got 23.68 per cent and Iniesta 10.91 per cent.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque was voted FIFA Men's World Soccer Coach of the Year Award for leading the Spanish national team to a record three consecutive major titles, the 2012 European Championships. Del Bosque beat Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho, who won the award last year, and former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who won in 2011.

Abby Wambach became the first American to win the FIFA Women's Player of the Year since Mia Hamm in 2001 and 2002 while USA coach Pia Sundhage was voted top women's coach.

The three players shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or were also on the World XI All-Star chosen by the FIFPro group of players' unions, comprising 50,000 members worldwide.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was selected as goalkeeper, joined by defender and teammates Sergio Ramos and Marcelo and Barcelona's Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Iniesta was joined in midfield by Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso. Messi led the attack with Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao.

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