Lionel Messi has won the 2012 Fifa Ballon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldoand Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta.
Messi was unable to help Barcelona to the Liga title in 2011-12 as Real Madrid emerged victorious, while they were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League, yet Messi’s brilliance was enough to help him to individual glory.
The recognition comes after a year in which the 25-year-old broke numerous records, including the most goals scored in a calendar year.
Messi netted an astonishing 91 strikes over the course of 2012 to crush Gerd Muller’s previous record of 85 goals in a year, scoring 79 for Barcelona and 12 more for Argentina.
Cristiano Ronaldo missed out in the voting after steering Real Madrid to the Liga title with a string of fine performances, and impressing at Euro 2012 as he guided Portugal to the semi-finals of the competition.
Iniesta had to settle for a podium spot after winning the Copa del Rey with Barcelona, and successfully defending the European title with Spain.