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Messi Wins Record 4th World’s Best Player Award

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FIFA Ballon d'Or award winner Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) poses with the trophy by FIFA President Joseph Blatter during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013.   AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN        (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

FIFA Ballon d’Or award winner Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) poses with the trophy by FIFA President Joseph Blatter during the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on January 7, 2013. (Credit: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

ZURICH (AP) – Lionel Messi became the first four-time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award after shattering the world record with 91 goals last year for Barcelona and Argentina.

The 25-year-old won for the fourth straight time, beating Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta in voting announced Monday.

Zinedine Zidane of France and Ronaldo of Brazil were voted FIFA Player of the Year three times before the award merged in 2010 with France Football’s Golden Ball, given to the European player of the year. The Golden Ball, or Ballon d’Or, was won three times by Michel Platini of France and Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten of the Netherlands.

Voting was by national team coaches and captains from each FIFA member country and select media.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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