Four and Counting – Messi Wins Ballon d’Or

Fifa.com

Fifa.com

And so we have it. What the majority of people were expecting has come to pass. His 91 goals for club and country, a total that broke Muller’s 40 year-old record, has helped Messi win the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or. In doing so he becomes the first player in the history of the game to have won four – all in a row. It comes after the end of a remarkable year which also saw him pick up the European Golden boot and end last season as the top scorer in the Champions League – also for the fourth year in a row – as well as becoming the first player to score 5 goals in a Champions League game when Barcelona dismantled Leverkusen at Camp Nou in March.

Ben Hayward over at Goal.com believes that Messi is the player who makes the difference in an already brilliant team while also mentioning that “The Argentine is the game’s greatest talent right now and 2012 was his greatest year yet.” Read his entire article chronicling Messi’s year and his opinion that the best is yet to come.

Sid Lowe also airs his views on the Ballon d’Or gala and the winner. By ticking off another record Sid argues that Messi has now superseded most of the greatest stars the sport has ever produced, while also casting an eye on Ronaldo’s achievements. He also states his view on the heights Messi has achieved and the bar he has set for himself, as well as the fact that the award was all but his: “Months of speculation slowly gave way to a growing realisation, especially as the European Championship was left behind and Messi accelerated towards the end of the year: it was going to be him again. He scored twice in each of eight successive games and they were almost all goals of barely plausible brilliance; when he scored only once in his final game of 2012, it was as if he had underachieved.”
Read Sid Lowe’s entire article here on the guardian’s website.

ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan takes us through the results and happenings at the awards ceremony, with reactions from the nominees as well as the FIFPRO XI. Read that article here.

Glen Levy on his blog at TIME takes a look at the credentials of both runners-up as well before going through Messi’s 2012 achievements and mentioning the one point that needs crossing-off for Messi: “…and Messi’s remaining, embittered critics still point to the absence of that gold trophy in his cabinet. Still, he’s been a force for Argentina: Last year saw Messi score 12 goals for his country, three of which came against continental nemesis Brazil in a 4-3 win. If he does win the World Cup next year on Brazilian soil, Messi will finally throw off this ridiculous line of attack—and in epic fashion.”
Read the entire post here on TIME.com.

What do you think about Messi’s fourth Ballon d’Or? Was it deserved? Should Ronaldo have won? Did Iniesta have the greatest claim? Share your thoughts and opinions with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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