Golden balls

Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho went home empty handed as Leonel Messi and Spanish national coach Vincent Del Bosque took FIFA’s two principal annual awards last Monday night.

Barcelona’s diminutive Argentine genius Messi, who broke Gerd Muller’s goal scoring record for a calendar year at the end of 2012, was voted the best player in the world for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, while Del Bosque led his country to back-to-back World and European Championship titles.

In women’s football, the United States’ continuing domination of the game was recognised with veteran striker Abby Wambach and national coach Pia Sundhage taking the equivalent honours.