Messi wins record 4th world’s best player award

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The three finalists for men’s Player of the Year were on the World XI All-Star team chosen by the FIFPro group of players’ unions, comprising 50,000 members worldwide.

They selected a team composed entirely of players from Spanish clubs, with nine repeating their selection from one year ago.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was selected as goalkeeper, joined on defense by teammates Sergio Ramos and Marcelo and by Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Iniesta was joined in midfield by Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso. Messi led the attack with Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao. Marcelo and Falcao replaced Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney from the 2011 team.

The Puskas Award for the best goal in 2012, voted on by fans, was won by Miroslav Stoch of Fenerbahce, who had a long-range volley last March in a Turkish league game against Genclerbirligi.

Uzbekistan won the fair play award for its good disciplinary record. Sepp Blatter made the FIFA presidential award to Franz Beckenbauer, who captained and coached West Germany to World Cup victories, and then led the local organizing committee of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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