Another record gone. Lionel Messi finished 2012 on 91 goals in 69 games. He began 2013 by winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or. It is the fourth time he has won the award; no one else has won it so often. Because the award is a merger of the old European Footballer of the Year and the Fifa World Player of the Year which was inaugurated only in 1991, Diego Maradona never won it and nor did Pelé but it is doubtful even they would have matched Messi's achievement. Marco van Basten won the European award three times in five years, Johan Cruyff three in four and Platini three years in a row. Alfredo Di Stéfano won it twice. Messi has superseded all of them.
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