The Argentinian won football’s most prestigious personal honour a record four times and made history in the process.
It’s official, he’s the greatest ever, but we knew it anyway. The Barcelona player becomes the first football player to win the Ballon d’Or, previously FIFA World Player of the Year, four times. Surpassing the greatness of Van Basten, Platini and Cruyff the ‘Little Flea’ can now rest assured that he is the greatest of our or any other time. For the occasion he wore a specially created Dolce&Gabbana tuxedo, classically tailored but with enough flair to be remembered.
It was some year for Messi, scoring 79 times for his club in 2012. In March he became the only player to score 5 goals in one Champions League game when the Catalan club put seven past Bayer Leverkusen. He surpassed the 40 year record for most goals scored in a calendar year, previously held by Gerd Muller, and finishing with a remarkable 91. He also answered some of the few remaining critics who have claimed that he doesn’t perform for national team by scoring 12 goals in 2012 Argentina, including a hat-trick against Brazil.
So what does a player wear to an event that will etch his name in the annals of history as the greatest to ever play the game? Messi is known for is innate humility, when he wins an honour, he dedicates it to his team, when he scores he is the first to congratulate the provider of the killer pass, his personality is understated and serious. However his play is an expression of sheer joy and creativity.
A combination of classical Italian tailoring with a hint of razzle dazzle by Dolce & Gabbana garnered as much media attention as the award itself. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created especially for Messi, a one-button black silk tuxedo with white polka dots and black satin lapels. Classic tailored vest in black wool with 4 buttons and a white shirt completed the look.
The bar stool debate will rage on, but beating team mate Iniesta and Real Madrid rival Ronaldo to the prize, Messi has gone some way to establishing his legacy and indeed raising the bar for future generations.
An emotional Leo Messi accepted the award with thanks to his fellow Barcelona players, his Argentina team-mates and his family. Seemingly overwhelmed by the occasion, the crowd of football’s great and good rose to their feet for an emphatic standing ovation that showed how popular the decision was. At only 25, Messi could well continue raising that bar, Xavi, Iniesta and Ronaldo may have a long long wait to get their names on that particular trophy.