Ballon d'Or Winner 2013: Twitter Reacts to Lionel Messi's Record-Breaking Award

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Ballon d'Or Winner 2013: Twitter Reacts to Lionel Messi's Record-Breaking Award
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

To virtually no one's surprise, Argentine and Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named the 2013 Ballon d'Or winner. After scoring 91 goals in all competitions for club and country in 2012, winning his fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or seemed a mere formality.

From FIFA's Twitter account:

Really, there is no better reaction to Messi again winning this award than to simply sit back and watch this man work. He's truly awe-inspring.

Thankfully, ESPN tweeted a mashup of every goal the star scored this year. Brilliant!

Here's that video. Enjoy.

Perhaps we should all sit back and admire his jacket on the evening as well. It was an... interesting fashion statement, as FOX Soccer had a bit of fun pointing out:

Then again, when you score 91 goals in a calendar year, your jacket can pretty much say whatever the hell it wants, right?

As to be expected, athletes quickly took to Twitter and expressed their respect for Messi. Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich had nothing but kind words for the maestro of goals:

Louis Saha of Sunderland has decided that, given Messi's dominance, an entirely new award should be created:

Athletes weren't the only ones singing Messi's praises—journalists got in the act as well. And while he wouldn't go so far as to name Messi the best player of all time, Phil McNulty of BBC Sport crowned the Argentine a king among his peers:

It's hard to argue with that. And respected soccer scribe Guillem Balague isn't about to argue that point. However, he would argue that a Spanish player probably should have beaten out Messi at least once in his four-year Ballon d'Or reign:

One thing that may surprise you, however, is the percentage of the vote Messi received. Frankly, it was a smaller number than I expected (via FIFA on Twitter):

I think that speaks to the talent level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta, and the respect each player is given around the world. For Messi to score 91 goals this year and still win by a reasonable margin speaks highly of each player, and frankly, to the quality of players in the world today.

Speaking of Ronaldo, the Portuguese star did his best to look happy for Messi. He didn't quite pull it off, however, as Ives Galarcep of Soccer by Ives captured:

Ives, I need more pictures of Ronaldo's reaction! Help a brother out!

Look, Ronaldo was excellent in 2012. He led Real Madrid to the La Liga title. He scored 40 goals in his second straight La Liga season. He continued to be the second-best player on the planet.

But the jokes are going to come at his expense. We all know this. Mirror Football was one of the first on the scene with a dig:

We kid, we kid, Cristiano—any other year, I don't doubt you would have won this award. But how could anyone have competed with 91 goals?

Sometimes, you just have to grit your teeth, force out a grin and admit when you've been bested. After all, losing an award to Messi is nothing to hang your head about. 

And something you should probably expect to continue.

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