Messi takes the award after a thoroughly astonishing year on a personal level which saw him hit a monstrous 91 goals in 69 games during the calendar year for Barcelona.
2012 - Lionel Messi scored 91 goals and delivered 22 assists in 69 games in 2012. Winner. (via @optajean)— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 7, 2013
It means the Argentine caps a remarkable four winner's awards in four years, with the last three under the newly-forged FIFA version of the long-running award.
The Barcelona forward has long been regarded as one of the best players the world has ever seen and winning the prestigious award for a fourth time will intensify the calls from some that he is indeed the greatest ever. That particular claim is subjective and will always be up for debate of course, but there is no denying the deserving nature of his performances which have led to another Ballon d'Or trophy.
Messi scored his 91 goals despite Barcelona last season actually having one of their more barren years of recent times; they finished second to Real Madrid in La Liga and were knocked out at the semifinal stage of the Champions League, with just a Copa del Rey trophy to show for their efforts.
This season, the latter half of 2012, Messi and his team have been in irrepressible domestic form once more, leading the top flight by 11 points with the No. 10 having scored 27 of his team's 61 league goals.
Enjoy them, and the rest of his 91 goals for the year, in the video above.
Lionel Messi: The World's Greatest Player, once again.
After collating all the votes from journalists, national team coaches & captains, Lionel Messi claimed 41.6% of the #Ballondor vote— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 7, 2013