Four in a row! Messi world’s best footballer again

FIFA Ballon d'Or award winner Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi poses with the trophy during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fabrice Cofrini)

FIFA Ballon d’Or award winner Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi poses with the trophy during the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fabrice Cofrini)

Barcelona star, Lionel Messi, has continued his reign in world football, snatching a record fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

­The name of the world’s best football player was announced at a gala-show in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday night.

Messi received 46.6 per cent as a result of the vote by journalists, national team coaches and captains.

Barca teammate and best European player of 2012, Andres Iniesta (10.91per cent), and Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo (23.68 per cent) were the 25-year-old’s rivals for the award.

“Even though Barcelona did not lift a major trophy in 2012 — the Copa del Rey aside — Lionel Messi continued to go from strength to strength, amassing goals and records along the way,” FIFA’s official website wrote of the Argentinean’s display this year. “The three-time Ballon d’Or winner was no less impressive for Argentina either, helping them dominate the South American FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”

Messi was really on fire in 2012 as he scored 91 goals to beat the seemingly unreachable record for the most goals in a calendar year, set by Germany’s Gerd Muller back in 1972.

The ceremony also saw FC Barcelona become the team, with most — nine — Golden Ball’s handed to their players.

Besides Messi’s four titles, the most prestigious prize in football was awarded to the Catalan side’s representatives, Johan Cruyff (two times), Hristo Stoichkov, Luis Suárez Miramontes, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo.

The boss of world and European champions, Spain, Vicente del Bosque, was honored as the best coach of the year.

Team USA’s forward, Abby Wambach, was crowned the top female footballer in 2012, while the Fair Play award went to the football federation of Uzbekistan.

The line-up for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced in the ceremony, with the following players making the all-star squad in 2012:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Spain); Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil), Marcelo (Brazil), Gerard Piqué (Spain) and Sergio Ramos (Spain); Midfilders: Xabi Alonso (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain) and Xavi Hernández (Spain); Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Radamel Falcao (Colombia) and Lionel Messi (Argentina).