Messi wins a fourth straight Ballon d'Or

LIONEL MESSI has won the Ballon d’Or for a record fourth season in a row after justifying long odds-on favouritism to beat Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo to the award at a glitzy ceremony in Zurich.

Messi scored 91 goals in 2012 which helped him to the Ballon d’Or and Spain’s Vicente del Bosque edged out Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola to the Fifa Coach of the Year following Spain’s success at Euro 2012.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has said he intends to return to football next season and Paddy Power make Bayern Munich 15-8 favourites to take on the former Barca boss with Chelsea at 11-4.

Manchester City are 5-1 in the market for Guardiola’s next club, Manchester United come next at 6-1 and it’s 12-1 bar those four teams.

Match in Focus

19:45 We 3Sep PMSK

Ireland v Oman

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Oman have kept clean sheets in nine of their last ten matches
Expert verdict
Anyone expecting an easy home win for Ireland over Oman may be disappointed. When the fixture was announced it may not have seemed great preparation for the start of the Euro 2016 qualifiers but Oman are a well-organised side – conceding just one goal in their last ten games – and may maintain parity until half-time.

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