I don’t think too many people would have thought that someone else would win this award this year. The little Argentinian had done too many things on the field this year despite winning only a Copa Del Rey as a trophy. So for the record, he got 41.36% of the votes, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo who got 23.7% of the votes and Andrés Iniesta was the second runner-up with 10.9% of the votes. Messi deserved this award not just for the 91 goals he scored in 2012, but also for the magical display he provides when he is on the field, the little demon.
Messi has won this award for the 4th time in a row, which in itself is a new record! Other multiple winners include –
Johan Cryuff – 3 times
Michel Platini – 3 times
Marco Van Basten – 2 times
Alfredo Di Stefano – 2 times
Franz Beckenbauer – 2 times
Kevin Keegan – 2 times
Karl Heinz Rummenigge – 2 times
Ronaldo – 2 times
And notable players who have not won this award include Pele and Maradona. But there is a reason for that. Here is the reason as per Wiki
Originally, journalists could only vote for European players at European clubs, meaning that players like Diego Maradona (who played in European football clubs but is not European) and Pele (who neither played for a European club nor is European) were ineligible for the award. A change in the rules in 1995 allowed non-European players to be eligible for the award if they played for a European club. The first non-European to win after the rule change was Milan’s George Weah in the same year. In 2007, any player in the world became eligible, and the number of journalists allowed to vote also increased; 96 journalists from around the world chose their top five players, as opposed to the 52 Europe-based journalists in 2006
There has been a lot of discussion on whether Messi deserved it or whether Ronaldo did. I do feel that as a fan I enjoy Messi any day over Ronaldo, though I have to say that Ronaldo has improved a lot from his days at Manchester United and has become a better player. But for me it is Messi anyday. But here is an article which argues why Ronaldo would have been a better winner.