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 Th 3Sep SS1

Cyprus v Wales

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Cyprus have won just one of their last nine home games
Expert verdict
The draw is a decent runner in this contest, but Cyprus really must win to maintain contact with third place and their limited home attack will have to press forward as the game progresses. That could allow Wales to do what they do best and nick it on the break late on thanks to the counter-attacking speed of Gareth Bale.

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