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Defender's nightmare, Lionel Messi wins FIFA Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi is one of the living legends of football from Argentina who plays his club football for the catalans, Barcelona in Spain. He won his fourth FIFA Ballon d'Or award on Monday. The other finalists were Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal) and Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain).

IT WAS predicted that the player would walk away with the award and he deservedly did so. He scored 91 goals in the year 2012, which might be more than some of the football clubs’ goals in a season. For instance, Manchester City, which won the English Premier League 2011/2012 title, scored 93 goals last season. This statistics should explain in itself the quality of Lionel Messi as a player.

Messi plays an important role in bringing spectators to the game, who love to watch him play. It is simply a treat to the human eye. Scoring goals is one thing, but scoring goals with such consistency over the years is a characteristic of a great player. Normally, Messi is always on the score sheet for Barcelona and more often or not, it is a brace of goals to his name. It is rare not to find his name on the score sheet.

He is one of the special players of the modern era, who has been blessed with a magic left foot, which is capable of doing anything on the football pitch – ranging from dribbling to making those threading passes to scoring a bicycle kick. He has done it all. Defenders around the world have plans to defend the player and make him inefficient in front of goal, but they seldom materialise their plans for Messi, who is always one step ahead of the game. He is a defender's nightmare.

He possesses some of the best skills in world football. He may not have a bagful of tricks like most players of today, but he does not need such flashy skills, as he is able to score goals with such consistency with his simple game. His game can be termed simple with a touch of flair written all over it. One of his trademark moves has been his cutting in from the left and going inside the box, curling the ball or placing the ball in the back of the net.

He may not be extremely fast with the ball on his feet, but when he gets it on his feet, it is like Tom and Jerry, where Jerry is Messi. It is almost an impossible task to get the ball out of his feet. It is like a magnet attracted to an iron rod.

It is the knowledge about the game, which helps in him performing day in and out. Even when the ball is not on his feet, he knows what should be done to help his team-mates score goals. Even without the ball on his feet, he is a special player, as he creates spaces for other players to run by running past defenders, who does not want to give him any space – opening up defenses for the player with the ball to go solo.

The player has taken the world by storm ever since he made his club debut for Barcelona in 2004. He is also very close to scoring 200 goals for his club, Barcelona. It is just going to be another landmark in his career which has witnessed a number of records against his name. Some even call Messi one of the best players that have ever played the game.

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