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Messi seals it - 4th title in the bag

By Sapa-AFP | Jan 07, 2013 | COMMENTS [ 53 ]

ZURICH - Record-breaking Lionel Messi is poised to become the first player to win four successive Ballon d'Or awards today, sealing his status as the greatest player of his generation.

The 25-year-old is the overwhelming favourite to see off the challenge of Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta and great Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the prize.

It will crown another landmark year for the Argentine who is the top scorer in La Liga this season with 25 goals having also broken Gerd Mueller's 40-year record for the most goals in a calendar year.

He finished 2012 with an astonishing 91 goals in all competitions.

But Messi has insisted that his scoring records will mean nothing if Barcelona do not go on to take La Liga title off Real or fail to win the Champions League.

"It's nice to beat records but the win for the team is what is important. My goals are to win titles with the team, the Spanish league, Spanish Cup or Champions League is more important than any personal records."

He remains just as modest when it comes to today's awards in Zurich.

"If Iniesta wins, it will be well-deserved for all that he has done, for the way he plays. Again, it will also be a prize for the dressing room."

Messi and former French star, Uefa president Michel Platini, are the only players to win three straight Ballon d'Or awards.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova has no doubt that Messi will be a deserving winner.

"Leo's great quality is that he plays as if he still a child," said Vilanova.

Portugal captain Ronaldo admits he would love to win but it would not be the end of the world if the prize went elsewhere.

"If I win, perfect. If I don't, never mind, life goes on. But obviously I'd love to win. I'm not going to lie or be hypocritical," said the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner added.

COMMENTS [ 53 ]

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But why people wat Messi to downgrade himself, England, Italy, Germany and holland leagues they not playing his type of soccer and he does not need to proof to anyone that his the best bcos his is like it or not. Money is never the issue with him but playing soccer it is.

Jan 07, 2013 4:49 | 0 replies

you r right tswaro messi can also join the best teams that has great players here its about him challeging himself @ndivhuwoz what you have just mention here are good players not great or greatest players we are talking about world footballers here

Jan 07, 2013 2:6 | 0 replies

@ndivhuwo2, i agree with u mukomana, francesco totti never left Roma, Zanetti never left Inter, and they are playing now, and they are the best... so iniesta, xavi and messi must leave barca so that they can get recognized??? hell no, they are faithful to barca, unlike figo...

Jan 07, 2013 1:53 | 0 replies

with due respect to all the above comments, i would like to challenge here. mourinho is regarded as one of the best coaches at the moment cause he won leagues with 4 different teams from different countries, and being one of the few who won the UCL with two different teams, my question is, How did he win those leagues??? i will explain, FC Porto is the power house of the Portuguese league, no doubt about that. When he went to chelsea, he bought all kind of star players, among them ballack, drogba and essien, not forgetting shevchenko(though he was bought by the owner), at Inter, he had the best squad too, sneidjer, lucio, maicon, and now at madrid, there is no need to mention the players coz we know them. Based on that, can we still say Mourinho is the best??? And why did he leave Porto and Inter immediately after winning the European Cup??? He lacked the balls to encourage the same players, the same is happening now, which star player left Madrid at the beginning of the season? Non, so why are they 16 points behind the same Barcelona of last season??? am not saying he is not good, but lets look at other things with both eyes open...

Jan 07, 2013 1:46 | 0 replies

Paolo Maldini, Paul scholes , ryan giggs, frank lampard steven gerrard are all considerd the best but they have all either played for one team or in the country they started ther football, they never left their teams why should messi do that. at 1st people said he cant score with his head he did that then they said he cant score with his right foot he did that and then they said he cant perform with his national team he scored 15 goal in the last 9 games with the national team now you want him to move to a different county.

Jan 07, 2013 1:38 | 0 replies

@K4L

We are not player hating we r just merely stating the facts here. When u look at football comprehensively or in totality u have to look at all contributing factors. Why did Steve Lekoela feel home sick in Europe? Why did George Lekgetho excel in freezing conditions in Russia? Why does Morinho travel with certain players wherever he goes? Messi will brake records due to him been relaxed and comfortable at Barca. Let him go to Italy and the tackels will be flying there. He disappointed Maradona big time during his tenure as coach even though he won't admit it. These are all contributing factors to a football players life.

Okay heres a very simple question. Are u comfortable and earn enough where u r working now? Or R u unhappy? What is yo next step? Do u want to MOVE to another company or will you stay where u not happy? Answer this and me and u will be drinking beer together, buddy.

Jan 07, 2013 1:36 | 0 replies

messi is better than ronaldo, until i see cristina with top assists and briliant passes, not 4geting acuracy when is time to score, ronaldo relies on power, messi relies on precision, but however, if i was the one giving the award, i would give it to the man with a magic touch, impossible ball control and a definite pass, the creator of spaces, andres iniesta lujano, el cerebro del barca....

Jan 07, 2013 1:22 | 0 replies

@NNT61

if you hav set goals in life you push your self in too achieving those goals once you do you set other goals
your question above is irrelevent when you compare to soccer but i will answer you in my company they are paying me very well as i work there n i can do what ever i want with what they pay me but they are other positions that above my level that i want to reach n i am still in process to be the but i am still looking outside my company to achive my goals n remember its not about money any more but me reaching my goals being loyal to the company does not mean you dont have to set other goals for your self you can still go elswer n show your love and loyalty by coming back n share the experience that you got ouside so if my company is regarded as one of the best it simply means its not the only best but one of the best so i might as well challege myself ouside my company

Jan 07, 2013 1:18 | 0 replies

@goalmouth
@msuna

you guys forget that some individuals are motivated by money,hunger for success while others its all about loyalty then everything else comes second.i.e cassillas.your judgement is based on medals and trophies an individual has won with different teams(that can be done by any other player, but wud you call that player the best?the answer is no.being the best is what an individual can do with his god given talent that others cant.i'd like to pose a question to both of you!i dont know which field you guys are in ,but if your company is regarded as the best in its field and pays you well,wud you go to another company to prove your worth?

Jan 07, 2013 12:57 | 0 replies

MESSI JOU LEKKER DING

HAIL MESSI HAIL

Jan 07, 2013 12:52 | 0 replies

as long as messi is playing for barca they will do the job for him n he will look like a star where as they are those who are better than him

Jan 07, 2013 12:26 | 0 replies