LONDON: Lionel Messi was the clear winner of the World Soccer World Player of the Year award. The Barcelona and Argentina star collected more than twice as many votes as his nearest rivals Cristiano Ronaldo, of Real Madrid and Portugal, and club-mate Andres Iniesta of Spain.
It is the third time Messi has won the award, having previously triumphed in 2009 and 2011. He joins Brazil’s Ronaldo, who is the only other player to have won the award on three occasions.
There was also recognition for Spain’s remarkable achievement in winning the 2012 European Championship. Vicente Del Bosque was the clear winner of the World Manager of the the Year Award, and Spain were the overwhelming choice as World Team of the Year.
This year, for the first time in the 30-year history of the awards, the votes from readers were combined with those from an independent panel of experts. The final vote (displayed here as percentages) were weighted to ensure 50 per cent for the reader votes and 50 per cent for those from the panel.
World Soccer was launched in October 1960 and is the one of the longest-surviving of football magazines. The Player of the Year prize was initiated in 1982 when Italy’s Paolo Rossi was the first winner.
2012 World Player of the Year
1 Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) 47.33%
2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal) 19.01
3 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain) 9.77
4 Andrea Pirlo (Juventus & Italy) 6.10
5 Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid & Colombia) 5.95
6 Neymar (Santos & Brazil) 3.60
7 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid & Spain) 2.30
8 Xavi (Barcelona & Spain) 1.78
9 Didier Drogba (Chelsea/Shanghai Shenhua & Ivory Coast) 1.77
10 Eden Hazard (Lille/Chelsea & Belgium) 0.37
2012 World Manager of the Year
1 Vicente Del Bosque (Spain) 28.49
2 Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid) 12.27
3 Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea) 12.05
4 Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) 10.33
5 Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) 7.19
6 Herve Renard (Zambia) 6.83
7 Marcelo Bielsa (Athletic Bilbao) 5.74
8 Tite (Corinthians) 4.67
9 Pep Guardiola (Barcelona) 2.72
10 Luis Tena (Mexico Olympic) 2.63
2012 World Team of the Year
1 Spain 47.36
2 Zambia 8.52
3 Chelsea 7.84
4 Juventus 7.36
5 Atletico Madrid 4.89
6 Borussia Dortmund 4.25
7 Corinthians 4.23
8 Universidad de Chile 4.00
9 Barcelona 3.63
10 Montpellier 2.90
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