Lionel Messi was the clear winner of World Soccer’s 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.

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


Breakdown of the votes

Reader Votes


Lionel Messi 40.13 %

Cristiano Ronaldo 18.94

Radamel Falcao 10.99

Andrea Pirlo 9.48

Neymar 7.20

Andres Iniesta 6.82

Xavi 2.65

Didier Drogba 2.63

Eden Hazard 0.76

Yaya Toure 0.38

Del Bosque 21.54

Jose Mourinho 15.45

Roberto Di Matteo  11.38

Marcelo Bielsa 10.57

Jurgen Klopp 9.77

Tite 9.35

Diego Simeone 8.94

Herve Renard 7.31

Rene Girard 4.06

Luis Tena 1.63

Spain 32.00

Juventus 12.00

Zambia 9.78

Chelsea 9.33

Atletico Madrid 8.88

Corinthians 8.45

Universidad 8.00

Borussia Dortmund 5.78

Montpellier 4.00

Mexico Olympic 1.78


Panel votes


Lionel Messi 54.54%

Cristiano Ronaldo 19.09

Andres Iniesta 12.73

Iker Casillas 4.54

Andrea Pirlo 2.73

Mohamed Aboutrika 0.91

Sergio Ramos 0.91

Radamel Falcao 0.91

Didier Drogba 0.91

Juan Mata 0.91

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 0.91

Xavi 0.91

Vincente Del Bosque 35.45

Roberto Di Matteo 12.73

Jurgen Klopp 10.90

Jose Mourinho 9.09

Herve Renard 6.36

Diego Simeone 5.45

Pep Guardiola 5.45

Antonio Conte 3.64

Luis Tena 3.64

Roberto Mancini 1.81

Cesare Prandelli 1.81

Alex Ferguson 0.91

Rene Girard 0.91

Jorge Sampaoli 0.91

Theo Bucker 0.91

Marcelo Bielsa 0.91

Spain 62.73

Zambia 7.27

Barcelona 7.27

Chelsea 6.36

Real Madrid 5.45

Borussia Dortmund 2.73

Juventus 2.73

Montpellier 1.81

Al Ahly 0.91

Manchester United 0.91

Atletico Madrid 0.91

Bayern Munich 0.91

Manchester City 0.91

How the expert panel voted

Previous winners

  • Olumson

    It not funny that some still doubt messi as football genius, of cos some have eyes but cannot see, so they need deliverance to enable them see and reason correctly. Pls javimgo u can visit TB JOSHUA Of nigeria 4 ur deliverance section.up MESSI.

  • val josiah

    Lionel messi is the world best of the year because he deserve it.

  • Oladeji wilfred olufemi.

    Messi is the best in this world

  • Alex

    I cannot believe that half of the people thinks Messi is NOT the best in the world. That should be universally accepted by now.

  • Onesmus

    Messi the king

  • eugene

    Well done to leo master messi, now ballon dor(world player of the year). Ronaldo should learn from the master messi maybe then he’ll be able to achieve those feats

  • Sircarma

    I was convince of Messi’s performance …he truely deserves it..the greatest ever

  • swaleh van zedi

    hehe alonso better than xavi? ask alonso n surely he gona b shy………4 messi he deserve every club n individual awards….. kip up our boy


  • MAsi

    Who choose this as a best player what he won until now Just Spain Cup And compare him With Ronaldo position he is winger and he win La Liga, Super Cup and he could go up to Europe Semi final it is shame for FIFA that candidate Messi as a best player

  • jahangir

    messi only one.

  • andre


  • Marco UdeChile

    Thanks @UdeChile // @iammarkoto TT

  • Marco UdeChile

    Grande la @UdeChile!! @iammarkoto

  • dfdg

    just c.ronaldo

  • mario

    Big UP to ZAMBIA! Second Best in the world, now thats something. Congrats to their coach Herve Renard as well.

  • raul albiol

    so if you think xabi alonso is better than Xavi, i think you have also to consider raul albiol. he also had won la liga & euro winner with less played & effort. LOL, that’ why i can’t stop laughing :))

  • mehdi


  • yassin

    stupid vote best team ist germany
    best 4 player
    filipp laham
    thomas muller
    mario gomez

    cristiano ronaldo

  • Victor

    Neymar the best!

  • Ali

    Always the Gold boy (MESSI) in the top

  • jev

    Messi and Falcao.
    The bests

  • faraz

    Messi best of the bestt!! Haters need ointment for their burns 🙂


    Javimgol, you can read stupid comments from stupid journalists in MARCA in the WC and cry.

  • A

    Messi Is the best

  • Corsairs

    Leave another tissue pack for Osiris.

  • Alan Kalter

    Awfully glad to see Don Vicente finally get some of the recognition he deserves.

  • JohnJohn

    @javimgol: Tissue sir?

  • Elsa Capuntas

    Javimgol if you think that Xabi Alonso is better than Xavi, you have a problem.

  • Elsa Capuntas

    Javimgol if you think that Xavi Alonso is better than Xavi, you have a problem.

  • Osiris

    It’s ridicoulous. Why CR has more votes than Messi in WS XI, but Messi wins the WS? ¿Pur qué?

  • @javimgol

    Nope, the whole list was compiled the special FIVE Sour-in-ho and his papa Perez.

  • Javi P

    JAVIMGOL, i think you forgot to start your comment with “I am”. You’re welcome.

  • Javi P

    JAVIMGOL, i think you forgot to write “I am” at the beggining of your comment. You’re welcome.

  • soccer_fan

    @javimgol, Are you blind?

    Reader Votes:
    Lionel Messi 40.13 %
    Cristiano Ronaldo 18.94
    Radamel Falcao 10.99

  • FN

    For the heartbroken Madrid fan above, take a look at who voted: a mixture of a popular vote and a massive panel of experts from every part of the world. It’s all documented. Go drown in your tears.

  • Ramiro

    Ibra is much better player than Falcao.

  • k

    messi the greatest,javimgol,you’re stupid.

  • ajit singh panwar

    Hi there!
    it´s looks very fine that leo messi have won this award.but 100 % i´m not agreey with number 2 jose mourinho, i live in spain and number 2 must have gon to pep guardiola.
    beacouse he won in one year copa de muindial and kings cup title meanwil morinho have just won spanish leauge which was gifted by spanish refrees to real madrid.

  • k

    lionel messi the greatest player of all time,he deserved this award for sure.

  • Tokzyo

    Up MESSI the special gift to the universe of soccer

  • javimgol

    Absolutely stupid

    Real Madrid beat Barcelona in La Liga, get a 100 point record, and has less votes.

    Xabi Alonso did a better season (won Liga, amazing Euro, better than Xavi, and defeated Barcelona again in SuperCopa) and he isn’t the best XI team. And Xavi is in it?

    Who made this whole votation? Sandro Rosell and Pito Vilanova?