Tuesday, January 7, 2014
7 January 2013 - Congratulations, Now About That Suit ...
The Barcelona forward first won the honor in 2009, before it merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, then won the combined award, the FIFA Ballon d'Or, in 2010 and 2011. The three trophies matched the previous record, reached by only three other people—Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973, 1974), Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985), and Marco van Basten (1988, 1989, 1992).
Then, in 2012, Messi scored an incredible 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina, beating the previous European record of 85 goals in a calendar year, set by Gerd Müller in 1972. Although he suffered a slight trophy drought that year, with Barcelona winning only the Copa del Rey after taking five pieces of silverware the previous year, including the La Liga and the Champions League titles, Messi's individual accomplishment saw him get 41.60% of the Ballon d'Or vote, almost doubling the tally of second-place finisher Cristiano Ronaldo (23.68%).
Other winners at the ceremony that day included the USA's Abby Wambach, the Women's World Player of the Year, and Vicente del Bosque (Spain) and Pia Sundhage (USA) as the men's and women's Coaches of the Year.