Zurich – Spain’s Andres Iniesta shrugged off the disappointment of failing to dislodge favourite Lionel Messi as the Argentinian won a record fourth Ballon d’Or by predicting his Barcelona teammate would be back for more next year.
Messi easily saw off Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Iniesta for the prize – and Iniesta said he would surely win again.
“Leo, if he continues in this vein, won’t let a fifth straight Ballon d’Or title slip. I congratulate him on a fourth which makes him unique.
“It’s not a question of sharing it out with others just because somebody has won a lot – you have to savour a job well done and that’s what we are doing today,” said Iniesta after the award in Zurich yesterday.
Iniesta (28) joined Messi in saying such awards are essentially a reflection of the team in which the winner plays and “the fact that we (Barcelona) have so many representatives in the team (of the year) means we have fulfilled our mission.”
Barcelona had five players in the team of 2012 – as did Real Madrid, with Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao making up the numbers.