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Delighted Messi surprised by honour

Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi has voiced his delight and surprise with his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or win.

The Argentina international was over the moon as he finished ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta to once more win the Ballon d’Or in Zurich on Monday night.

Messi netted an impressive 91 goals throughout 2012 to break numerous records, thus earning himself 41.6 per cent of the votes, whereas runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo had to settle for 23.68 per cent.

“To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words,” Messi said upon receiving his trophy.

“I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona: Iniesta it has been great to train and play alongside you. I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentinean 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 said there was no rivalry between himself and Ronaldo and that his only aim was to win trophies for his club and country.

“Yes, like Ronaldo has also said, we are not competing with each other,” Messi added.

“We play to try to win titles, in the end that is what we work for, and nothing else.

“I never compete [directly] against him. I always try my best, to help my national team, my team , and to keep growing, nothing else.

A World Cup crown is one title still absent from Messi’s trophy cabinet, but the 25-year-old said he will be hoping to change that in the coming years.

“There is a lot of time left until the next World Cup – even at the moment we haven’t qualified,” he said.

“It’s true Argentina have changed recently. Now we get good results and we are playing good football, better than in previous years.

“We are happy now but we have to be patient because we need to grow up as a team, but the World Cup is far away.”

Mon 7 January, 2013
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