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Messi wins record fourth Ballon dOr

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has claimed the 2012 FIFA Golden Ball award after he netted 91 goals to break the record for goals scored in a calendar year.

Messi, 25, beat team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize.

It was a record fourth successive trophy for the Argentina star, who won both the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d'Or in 2009 before then claiming the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011 when the two prizes were merged.

An emotional Messi said it was "unbelievable" and thanked everyone who had helped him reach the pinnacle of his profession as he picked up the trophy in Monday night's gala awards ceremony at Zurich's Kongresshaus.

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Meanwhile, Vicente del Bosque was named Coach of the Year after leading Spain to a successful title defense in the European Championship.

The 62-year-old coach won 34.51 percent of the vote with Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho second (20.49 percent) and Messi’s former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola third (12.91 percent).

The FIFPro World XI was named up entirely of players based in Spain with Barcelona's Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Xavi, Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao joining the three Ballon d'Or nominees in the team. Franz Beckenbauer received the FIFA Presidential Award.

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