Lionel Messi And Abby Wambach Win FIFA's 2012 Male And Female Player Of The Year Awards

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Jan 07, 2013 03:46 PM EST
Lionel Messi And Abby Wambach
Lionel Messi of Argentina, FIFA World Player of the Year 2012 (L) poses with FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2012 Abby Wambach of the U.S. during the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2012 soccer awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich January 7, 2013.

Lionel Messi has become the first four-time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award after demolishing the world record with his 91 goals last year for Barcelona and Argentina.

''To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous,'' Messi said.

The 25-year-old Messi won for the fourth straight time, beating Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta. With his 91 goals he has surpassed the mark set by Gerd Mueller (85) for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

Messi received 41.60 percent of the votes by national team coaches and captains. Ronaldo got 23.68 percent and Iniesta 10.91 percent.

U.S. National team star Abby Wambach was named FIFA's Women's Player of the Year, becoming the first American to win since Mia Hamm in 2001 and 2002.

Wambach put together a tremendous season in which she started every game for the U.S., scoring 27 times-including once in five of her six games during the 2012 London Olympics.

She won the award receiving 20.67 percent of the votes, edging out teammate Alex Morgan (13.5) and five-time winner Marta of Brazil (10.87).

'I'm very, very surprised,'' Wambach said. ''Not only do I think Marta and Alex could have won, but many other players could have been here as well.''

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