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Messi lands Ballon d'Or prize

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has claimed the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award after he netted 91 goals to break the record for goals scored in a calendar year.

Messi, 25, beat team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize.

It was a record fourth successive trophy for the Argentina star, who won both the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d'Or in 2009 before then claiming the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011 when the two prizes were merged.

An emotional Messi said it was "unbelievable" and thanked everyone who had helped him reach the pinnacle of his profession as he picked up the trophy in Monday night's gala awards ceremony at Zurich's Kongresshaus.

"To tell you the truth this is really quite

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