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Messi Wins Fourth Straight Best Player Award
Lionel Messi has added yet another record to his list of achievements by winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or at a Fifa gala in Zurich.
Messi was again voted the world's best player, beating rivals Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta.
"To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous," a typically modest Messi said.
His fourth trophy lifted him above three-time Fifa winners Zinedine Zidane of France and Brazil's Ronaldo.
Messi received 41.60% of the votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus invited journalists. Ronaldo got 23.68% and Iniesta 10.91%.
A total of 23 players were nominated for the award.
"Whether I win or not it doesn't matter, it's a privilege to be here," Ronaldo, the 2008 winner, said earlier when sharing a news conference platform with Messi.
Messi led a dominating night for Spanish teams at Fifa's annual celebration of world football.
Vicente del Bosque won the coaching award for guiding Spain to its third straight major tournament victory at Euro 2012.
Messi's success crowned another landmark year for the Argentinian, who is already the top scorer in La Liga for the season with 25 goals.
He finished 2012 with an astonishing 91 goals in all competitions.
But Messi has insisted his scoring records will mean nothing if Barcelona do not go on to take the La Liga title off Real or fail to win the Champions League.
"It is incredible to receive this prize once again and it's impressive it makes it four in a row. I would like to share this with my Barca teammates - particularly with Andres, who is here with me," he said.
"I am proud to be able to train alongside him every day. I am also thinking of my teammates in the Argentina squad," he went on.
"Thank you to all those who voted for me, skippers, coaches and national coaches.
"Thank you too to my family, my friends and of course my wife and son, who is the best thing that ever happened to me."