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


Holland v England

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • England have kept four clean sheets in a row and five in their last six
Expert verdict
This is Ronald Koeman’s first game in charge of the Oranje and, as well as saying farewell to the likes of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder and ignoring the claims of Daley Blind and Robin van Persie, he’s brought in five new faces. England have been defensively very good in recent internationals, with clean sheets against world champions Germany and Brazil, and are un likely to be beaten.



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