Messi wins fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or, Wambach named Women’s World Player of the YearJanuary 7, 2013 • By Franco Panizo
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