FIFA announced the names of players and coaches of the year for 2012 on January 7.
The Ballon d'Or award ceremony took place in Zuroch, Switzerland. Argentinean Lionel Messi, Barcelona forward, became the player of the year. His colleague from the Catalonian club – halfback Andrés Iniesta – and the leader of Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo were his rivals.
It is the first time a player has received the fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or. As regards awards, Lionel Messi caught up with legendary Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten last year. And he has broken the record now.
2012 was a year of numerous achievements for Lionel Messi although Barcelona did not manage to win either in the Spanish Cup or the Champions League. The Argentinean broke Gerd Müller's record of goals in a calendar year by scoring 5 goals in matches with Bayer. Messi also set new records of goals per season in the Champions League and the Spanish Cup.