Lionel Messi Wins Ballon d'Or: Is Messi the Greatest Player of All Time Now?

Dusan LucicCorrespondent IIJanuary 7, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 06:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on January 6, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

The world stood speechless with emotion as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi collected his fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or today.

But after yet another incredible season with the Blaugrana in which the Argentina international found the back of the net 91 times and assisted 22 more goals, one could hardly question FIFA's decision to grant Messi with his fourth award in as many years.

As the debates over whether he really deserved it continue, Messi broke yet another record today—the diminutive forward became the first player in the history of football to win four back-to-back Player of the Year awards.

It should also be noted that Messi is just entering the prime years of his career, as the Barcelona forward is still only 25 years old.

In spite of the fact that he is still at such a tender age, Messi has already won five La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles as well as three UEFA Champions League and two FIFA Club World Cup trophies.

Playing for the Argentina national team Messi, also won the 2007 Copa America, and the only trophy that has eluded the already legendary forward is the FIFA World Cup.

But at this rate, there are literally no reasons to believe that Messi won't be able to win that one as well.

Having beaten Cristiano Ronaldo for his fourth Ballon d'Or, it seems Messi has no true rivals in modern football. However, this poses perhaps the toughest question in the world: Is Messi now the greatest player of all time?

Pele and Maradona have been fighting over who is the greatest player of all time for years now, as both believe they are the very best, but Messi could very well join the argument now.

In related news, the 2012 FIFA Team of the Year consists of 11 La Liga players. Here is the team in full: Iker Casillas; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo.

What do you think? Did Messi just become the greatest player of all time?