Messi wins fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or, Wambach named Women’s World Player of the Year

To no one’s surprise, Lionel Messi has once again been labeled the greatest player in the world.

Messi was named the winner of the 2012 Ballon d’Or on Monday, beating Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta to claim the award for a fourth consecutive year. Messi won the award for his amazing 2012 showing, one that saw him score 91 times en route to breaking Gerd Muller’s 40-year record of goals scored in a calendar year.

On the women’s side, U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach was named the Women’s World Player of the Year. Wambach helped the Americans win the Olympic gold medal this past summer and also moved six goals shy of Mia Hamm’s career total of international goals of 158. Wambach edged out U.S. teammate Alex Morgan and Brazilian striker Marta for the award.

Former U.S. Women’s head coach Pia Sundhage also took home some hardware, as she claimed the FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year award.

You can see who every national team coach, captain and journalist voted for in the Ballon d’Or here, and here is a full rundown of all the awards handed out during Monday’s ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland:

FIFA Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year: Abby Wambach

FIFA Puskas Award: Miroslav Stoch

FIFA Coach of the Year: Vicente del Bosque

FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year: Pia Sundhage

FIFA / FIFPro World XI:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas

Defenders: Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo

FIFA Presidential Award: Franz Beckenbauer

FIFA Fair Play Award: Uzbekistan Football Federation

This entry was posted in European Soccer, FIFA, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Messi wins fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or, Wambach named Women’s World Player of the Year

  1. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    And messi is only getting better……….. too bad barbie christiano. By the way I would love to see messi in mls agaisnt christiano. Messi in cosmos and christiano in galaxy

  2. Eric says:

    Congratulations to Uzbekistan on their great victory.

  3. Joe+G says:

    Did they only send out the FIFA / FIFPro World XI ballots in Spanish & Portuguese?

    • another steveo says:

      No. Spanish and Catalan, and mailed them only to Madrid and Barcelona addresses.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Actually, it’s not a bad list of top 11 players with the possible exception of defenders. I would have picked the same players at the keeper (Casillas is one of the top keepers in the world and he won Euro and La Liga titles) and forward positions – Messi, Ronaldo and Falcao definitely belong on the list (I know technically Ronaldo is a left mid, but it’s not crazy to classify him as a forward). Iniesta and Xavi have to be included as midfielders. One could possibly question the inclusion of Xabi Alonso, but he was an important contributor to Spain’s Euro title and to Real’s La Liga title.

  4. marlon says:

    good, no van persie

  5. Jerrod says:

    is del bosque that great of a coach if he has 6 of the world 11 on his team?

  6. wilyboy says:

    Isn’t this a record? Has anyone ever won it four times?

  7. Dinho says:

    Barcelona: 5 players
    Real Madrid: 5 players
    Athletico Madrid: 1 player

    I’m no conspiracy theorist, but this just seems strange….

    • Nate says:

      Well Dinho, my good man, I AM a conspiracy theorist and it is not strange it’s a CONSPIRACY! Let the witch hunt for the tainted ballots begin!

    • Shane says:

      Really is a joke. Ibra should be in there.

    • Bobb says:

      Who would you replace?
      Who does Van Persie or Zlatan replace from a front three of Messi, Falcao, Ronaldo?

      • THomas says:

        Forward line, hard to argue against those three. But you’re telling me Alves and Marcelo is the best fullbacks in the world? Come on (Cole, Lahm, Baines to name a few).

        The midfield is hard to argue with too, but Pirlo on an undefeated Juve and with numerous Ballon D’Or votes can’t break in ahead of Alonso or Xavi?

        • Camjam says:

          And Ramos as one of the 2 best CB in the world? He’d good, but he is also a red card waiting to happen and can get bossed in the air.

        • Philbin says:

          For my money, Marcelo and Alves are the two best in the world. Think about it, after the top 2-3 players on each side, depth is very scarce at fullback.

          LB: Marcelo, Cole, Evra, Baines… uh, Keiran Gibbs? No way.
          RB: Alves, Lahm, Ivanovic… Arbeloa? Maybe the other two warrant a look, but the pickins are slim.

          I refuse to list Zabaleta. Admittedly, I may be slightly biased as a Brazilian.

    • JRP says:

      Anyone else want to tell this guy that the EPL isn’t the world’s premier league?

  8. Nick says:

    And once again Ronaldo cannot hide his complete disgust…

    • Camjam says:

      I’d be mad if I were him too. Truth be told, he had the better year. He isn’t a better player, but for the time frame the vote was for (2011-2012 season, votes cast by Nov. 15), he had the better year. Won La Liga, matched Barcelona in CL play, and had 46 League goals to Messi’s 50. If he weren’t such a Diva all the time, maybe he’d have a chance.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        it’s not for the 2011-2012 season, it’s for the 2012 calendar year. if it were for the 2011-2012 season (which makes more sense, soccer-wise) i think cristiano would have won it (easily, probably).

  9. LOL Wambach?!?! What a joke! I guess you deserve that award if you cheat a referee into handing you’re team a penalty shot to get you into the Olympic final… In order for women’s soccer to succeed, they need the USA to continue to be on top. That’s why she won the award, that’s why the US was handed their semi final victory over Canada in the Olympics.. Anybody that fallows women’s soccer knows that Christine Sinclair is on a different level.. Sorry all you Alex Morgan fans. Sinclair does much more with a weaker supporting cast.. But I suppose in order for women’s soccer ever to become mainstream the USA needs to be successful.. So congrats Wambach, you really deserve it..

    Sincerely, your friends to the North

    • Martek says:

      FIFA Ballon D’Or Sour Grapes Comment: This one.

      Oh Canada…Oh Brother.

    • Gnarls says:

      Bitter Cunuck, indeed.

    • Shane says:

      Sinclair is indeed a great player and probably would have won it if she wasnt such a poor sport – much like you. It is her own fault she did not get nominated. Wambach got punched in the face by a player earlier in the olympics, something that is actually cheating, and look at how much class and restraint she showed about it. Did she call a ref a cheat for not red carding the player? Did the US call the ref a cheat for not red carding Mellissa Tancredi for deliberately stomping on Carli Loyd’s head? Yes, that 6 second call is not common but it has been made before in womens’s pro soccer – in a game many of those same USA and Canadian players were in, including your goalie.

      “cheat a referee into handing your team a penalty” or you kidding me, what a distortion of what actually happened. Maybe if your goalie would have simply played soccer rather than time wasting, thing would have turned out differently.

      • Marc Toulouse says:

        I hear you, but then again.. this happened in the final.
        link to

        In case you’re wondering, that’s the USA handball during the gold game.

        It’s one thing to claim crazy when it seems crazy, it’s another to notice a call being made that is questionable, while one that is blatant ignored.

      • Marc T says:

        Also, agree about Tancredi, It was dirty and should of been called. But that happens in the game. I lost a lot of respect for her after that.

        But I’m also concerned about what role Nike might play in US women’s soccer. If there’s one thing i’ve learned about the world is that when it comes to making money, nothing is out of bounds. I’m sure nike et all had a lot to lose should the US women not make the finale.

        That’s all I’m saying. You guys have far more to lose (Money!) then we did.

    • Weston John says:

      If FIFA is tampering with games to get the US to win major tournaments, I guess they sure messed up the 2011 World Cup. And it is amazing that FIFA was able to get Morgan to head in that winning goal against Canada…how did they do that? And how did FIFA get the coaches, team captains and journalists in each country to vote for Wambach for POY? FIFA must really be a powerful institution!

    • Eurosnob says:

      Sinclaire was one of the best players in the Olympics and definitely deserved consideration for the award, but suggestion that Canada did not win the Olympics because of pro US bias by the refs does not hold water. The refs allowed Canadian players to lunge in reckless tackles without carding them and should have definitely sent Tancredi off after she stomped on Carli Lloyds head at the start of the second half. The refs were really bad, but I don’t think they were biased. In the semis, the best team won. As for Canada, they finished third in its group and ended the Olympic tournament with 2 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw and no medals.

    • THomas says:

      You’re so cute with your anger and such.

    • Alex says:

      As a Canadian fan I’m embarrassed at how much Canadians have been complaining about that game. Stop being such a sore loser.

  10. langston hughes says:

    messi kind of has a little derek zoolander thing goin on in that picture

  11. Bobb says:

    How about updating the photo to a happy Messi holding the trophy? This is from the press conference beforehand, hence the street clothes.

    • Jerrod says:

      i like the picture. he’s got a kind of “i wish they’d make these things smaller, i’m running out of room in my garage” look going.

  12. Bobb says:

    I love looking at the ballots, here are the votes of interest to US fans.

    USA Captain Carlos Bocanegra: Messi Lionel Cristiano Ronaldo Falcao Radamel
    Egypt Coach Bob Bradley: Cristiano Ronaldo Messi Lionel Pirlo Andrea
    USA Coach Juergen Klinsmann: Messi Lionel Pirlo Andrea Cristiano Ronaldo
    USA Media Paul Kennedy: Messi Lionel Cristiano Ronaldo Falcao Radamel

  13. t says:

    Andrea Pirlo, best player at euro 2012 and best midfielder on Italy’s best team..

  14. ConradB says:

    Should I know who Paul Kennedy is?

  15. THomas says:

    What else is new? The world is round?? The Sun is hot???

  16. Eric says:

    Wow…I’m a goalkeeper, and am wondering why some of the keepers with ballots voted the way they did…

    Lloris voted for Casillas, Falcao, and Drogba.
    And Casillas voted for Sergio Ramos, CR7, and Xavi. Yeah, no bias there at all.

    Dat be ridiculous.

    • Bobb says:

      “haters gonna hate”

      Pathetic that Casillas, who from all reports is a great guy, couldn’t bring himself to vote for Messi in the top three just because of the Real Madrid vs Barca thing.

      Good thing there are over 500 voters!

  17. Chris2 says:

    Interesting that Spanish Captain, Coach and Media couldn’t find a place for Messi in top 3 . . .

  18. Kevin_Amold says:

    Thought Falcao’s goal was clearly the best. Guess I was wrong.

  19. Colin Reese says:

    Messi is great at taking defenders left and finishing in tight spaces inside the box and hitting baby chips over keepers, but Ronaldo, Zidane, and Ronaldinho were much more dynamic players that had more versatile skill-sets.

  20. Colin Reese says:

    The FIFA FIFPro World XI unfairly excluded Thiago Silva, Pirlo, and Ibrahimovic.

  21. Wally says:

    I have no problem with Messi, but shouldn’t he lead Argentina to something big before we proclaim him one of the best of all time? Thinking Maradona, Pélé, Beckenbauer, Zidane. They’re considered great because—beside their skill—they achieved on both the national and club level.

    The way some people go on about Messi you’d think he’s Jesus or a hot chick.

    • Smacking says:

      It’s not worth discussing who is THE best, especially not when Messi is still so young. He is certainly already among the best. If you can’t just enjoy the wonder of his play, I feel sorry for you. You’re missing a hell of ride.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      really, the only example from your list that’s making your point is maradona, because the other three were on teams that would’ve already been world-beaters (zidane’s case is arguable).

      if messi were to lead this argentina to world cup glory, it would only be comparable to maradona, and would be a greater achievement than any of the other 3 players. and i’m pretty sure it won’t happen.

  22. rs says:

    Winning on the national and club level should be important, but winning a WCup doesn’t necessarily elevate you (unless you dominate a tournament). From Pelé’s three WCups, it was 1970 that mattered (in 1958 Didí was the star, 1962 Pelé only played a few matches), along with his success at Santos in the 1960s. Same for Maradona in 1986 (vs. 1990’s 2nd place) and his career at Barcelona and Napoli, or Zidane in 1998 (vs. 2006 finalist) and his success at Juventus and Real Madrid.

    It made me think of other players who are in the conversation of “greatest player” in history, and certainly Messi should take his place alongside of Di Stéfano, Platini, or a defender like Maldini. That made me think of an All Time Starting XI of players who never won a World Cup (excluding players like Messi and C.Ronaldo who still have a shot):
    -Marzolini–Myung-Bo–Hierro– Maldini
    –Di Stefano–
    -Eusebio–Raul–Van Basten-

    I’d take that XI any day.

  23. desalegn says:

    the award wasn`t deserved to mesi, it should be for christiano ronaldo. the world already knows that have snatched up two Spanish cups by the success of Ronaldo and he scores goals over mesi`s team Barca. what happen to the selectors. I strictly believe messi is deserved only once from the four consecutive ballondor winning, the 1st he been awarded should be to weisly seijnider, 2nd and 4th to C.Ronaldo the 3rd is undeniably for him self.