Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi has won the FIFA men's Ballon d'Or for a record-breaking fourth successive year
The star striker was on hand at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night to receive the award, beating out the likes of Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo for the honour.
Messi was the favourite to get the nod after an incredible 2012 in which he surpassed Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year, finishing with a total of 91 for club and country.
He now surpasses the three Ballon d'Or awards won by both former Brazil striker Ronaldo and former France midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
"To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable," said Messi. "The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.
"I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona; Andres it has been great to train and play alongside you.
"I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentinian national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you."
Messi polled 41.60 percent of the votes, with Ronaldo taking 23.68 percent and Iniesta 10.91 percent.
Messi scored 50 goals in a La Liga season, a record 14 goals in a Champions League season and became the first player to net five times in a Champions League match. He also scored 12 goals for his national side.