With the most prestigious individual award in football as the 2012 FIFA Ballon D'Or was handed out last night in Switzerland. The finalists for the Golden Ball given out to the best player in the world, all ply their trade in Spain as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta along with with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo were up for the award.
Liu Xin said, "The FIFA Ballon D’or 2012 officially kicked off in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday. The biggest question of the night is, who was the best football player of the year, Lionel Messi? Critiano Ranaldo? Or Andres Iniesta?"
The annual ceremony attracted hundreds of football fans from different countries. When Lionel Messi, Critiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta made their appearances on the red-carpet together, the noise was deafening. But Messi turned out to be the biggest winner. Aged 25, he concluded 2012 by scoring over 90 goals. He also finished top scorer in the UEFA Champions League the last season with 14 goals. Without surprise, Messi was crowned the best player on the planet for a record fourth consecutive time, winning 42% of votes, well ahead of rival Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Andrés Iniesta.
Messi said, "It’s incredible to receive this award. I’m proud of being here with you today and playing with Barcelona. "
The FIFA World Coach of the year for men’s football went to Vicente del Bosque, the Spanish national team coach. Former coach of Real Madrid, he had to use all his tact and authority to make sure no Barcelona/Real factions are formed in the national team. With two UEFA Champions League titles, a FIFA World Cup title and now a EURO under his belt, Del Bosque’s record is second to none.
The FIFA best goal of the year award went to Czech player Miroslav Stoch for his "superbly hooked" shot carried out for team Fenerbahce during a Turkish Super Lig game in March 2012.
Over 50,000 FIFPro professional players have voted on the Best Team of the Year award. The team was made up of all Barcelona and Real Madrid players with the exception of highly-rated Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make their record 6th appearance in the World XI with Xavi and Iker Casillas in for the fifth time.
American Striker Abby Wambach was crowned the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. She was considered a perpetual thorn in the side of defences at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, from which she emerged with impressive statistics.
Swedish Pia Sundhage won the Coach of the year for Women’s football. She guided the USA team to more Olympic success in London four years after their gold medal in Beijing. One of the leading coaches in women’s game, she has now decided to give the Swedish national team the benefit of her experience.
Other awards included the 2012 FIFA Presidential Award, won by former German player and coach Franz Beckenbauer, in recognition of his extraordinary achievements and record of service to the world’s favourite game.
The Uzbekistan Football Association won the FIFA Fair Play Award 2012.