Messi singles out Iniesta after claiming record fourth Ballon d'Or

The Argentina international was quick to lavish praise on his Blaugrana colleague after scooping the prestigious individual award for the fourth year running
Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi was quick to pay tribute to club team-mate Andres Iniesta after beating off competition from the Spaniard and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to claim a record fourth consecutive Fifa Ballon d'Or.

The Argentine attacker netted a 91 goals throughout 2012 to break numerous records, thus earning himself 41.6 per cent of the votes, whereas runner-up Ronaldo had to settle for 23.68%.

And while Iniesta may have had to settle for third place with 10.91%, he was singled out for special praise by the triumphant Messi.

"To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have received is just too great for words," he said upon receiving his trophy.

"I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona: Iniesta, it has been great to train and play alongside you.

"I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentine national team.

"Everyone that has worked with me; coaches, staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you."

The 25-year-old also spoke about his choice of dress for the occasion, at which he sported a polka-dot suit and bow-tie.

"The idea of wearing this suit and bow tie was mine," he said, 'to surprise and be different."

Messi has become the first ever player to win the Fifa Ballon d'Or four times in succession. He shared the previous record of three consecutive wins with France legend Michel Platini.