Lionel Messi collected the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for a third consecutive year on Monday.
2011 was another stellar year for the Argentinean, who helped Barcelona retain their Liga title, win the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He beat team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo to the award, with the latter's tubby looking Brazilian namesake announcing Messi as the winner in Zurich.
"I'm very proud to have won it three times, especially one after the other," he told FIFA.com. "It's hard to win one, let alone three. I'm very happy and this award gives me as much pleasure as the first."
With each passing season, Messi edges a little closer to that pantheon of greats, the Peles, Maradonas and Johan Cruyffs of the game. Still only 24, there is still time for him to improve further, although it is difficult to fathom which facet of his came where there is potential for enhancement. He has few equals in his interplay, none as a dribbler and is on target to meet the 50-goal mark as he did last season.
Read Messi's interview here.