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Unstoppable Messi receives Ballon d’Or for 4th consecutive year

by Jonathan Fairfield
9 January, 2013
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About the author

Jonathan lives and works in Thailand as a writer and English Teacher. He is fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to watches, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and writes for a blog on the subject.

Lionel Messi With His Ballon d Or

Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi has been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or for a 4th consecutive year.

Amazingly, Messi ended 2012 by breaking Gerd Muller’s record for the most amount of goals scored in a calendar year – Messi scored 91 from 69 games. 2013 saw him set another record by becoming the first player to win the Ballon d’Or 4 consecutive times, breaking the current record he jointly held with French football legend Michel Platini. Interestingly, neither Pele nor Diego Maradona was ever awarded the Ballon d’Or but some of the other previous winners include Marco Van Basten, Johan Cruyff, and Alfredo Di Stefano.

At an award ceremony held on Monday in Zurich, Messi was part of a 3 man shortlist that also included Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi’s Barcelona team mate Andres Iniesta. The Ballon d’Or is voted for by journalists, football managers, coaches and captains.

Despite Messi’s personal achievements on the pitch last season, his team Barcelona failed to win either the European Champions League or the Spanish league title. However, after picking up over 40% of the total votes cast, this latest award further adds weight to the claim that Messi should now be considered as the greatest player of all time.

Still only 25 years old, there is every chance that Messi could continue to play at the highest level for the next decade. Whilst some critics argue that he still has a bit of a way to go in terms of being recognised on the same level as Diego Maradona or Pele, many claim that Messi has already superseded the two greatest names in the history of football.

Following his Ballon d’ Or triumph Messi also featured in the team of the year, which was made up 10 players from Real Madrid and Barcelona with the Atletico Madrid talisman Radamel Falcao the other addition.

Fifa World Team of the Year:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Dani Alves (Barcelona)

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Xavi (Barcelona)

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lionel Messi Chronograph

 

Upon receiving his 4th Ballon d’Or Lionel Messi looked rather dapper in a black and white polka-dot suit that probably only the greatest footballer in the world could get away with wearing. However, when he is not breaking goal scoring records, winning championships or collecting awards, Messi is also an ambassador for Audemars Piguet.

Following his first league title win, the Swiss watch maker released the limited edition Royal Oak Lionel Messi Chronograph in honour of the achievement. Limited to just 1000 pieces the watch is based on the latest addition to the Royal Oak Collection, which was first unveiled at SIHH 2012. Measuring 41mm in diameter the watch is available in a choice of pink gold /tantalum, platinum/tantalum or steel tantalum and is driven by a mechanical calibre 2385 movement, which is self winding.

Despite not featuring the brand’s original tapisserie motif, the Lionel Messi Chronograph does retain the collection’s distinctive eight hexagonal white gold screws. All three versions of the timepiece feature three auxiliary chrono counters and a small seconds counter which are circled with a stylish silver ring.

The watch comes on an alligator strap or there is also a choice of a rubbers strap which helps to give a bit of a sportier look. The watch dial has been treated with anthracite and features hour markers in either pink or white gold. On the platinum version, the deep blue dial and white hour markers work particularly well together.

According to Audermars Piguet, the brand and Lionel Messi share a philosophy of sporting elegance, with the Barcelona number 10 saying “in football as in watchmaking, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision”, which I’m sure is a quote that just rolled off the tongue!

The Lionel Messi Royal Oak Chronograph is available from $30,400 for the steel version, $51,400 for the pink gold and $83,300 for the platinum version.

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Jonathan Fairfield | Website

Jonathan lives and works in Thailand as a writer and English Teacher. He is fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to watches, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and writes for a blog on the subject.

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