Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or success is an acknowledgement of the good work being done at the club.
The Argentina international beat arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Blaugrana team-mate Andres Iniesta to the individual award, and Rosell was delighted to see Messi recognised for his efforts.
“I’m very proud of the players, of all of our winners and of Barca. I am also very proud of the work that people have done over the last 30 years, when La Masia was created. We are reaping the rewards and I want to thank everyone for their hard work,” Rosell told the Barcelona website.
“I also believe that this is an acknowledgment of our model. The life of a footballer isn’t easy and today we witnessed how that effort and hard work by athletes was recognised. It was the complete package, not only for Messi. This guarantees the idea of the game and the continuity of the club.
“Messi is marvellous when he plays, his four FIFA Ballon d’Or wins prove that. Additionally, he’s a fantastic and enchanting person. The truth is that we’re lucky to have him with us.”
Messi started 2013 with one goal in Barcelona’s 4-0 La Liga win over Espanyol.