Tag Archives: recipient

Gerd Muller receives Lionel Messi"s signed Barcelona shirt

Special delivery! Muller receives gift from gracious Messi after Barcelona striker breaks German's goalscoring record

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Muller had held the record since 1972, when the man affectionately known as ‘Der Bomber’ fired in 85 goals while at Bayern.

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

But the ever-graceful Messi’s first thought upon breaking the record was for the man he had surpassed.

The 25-year-old sent his beaten adversary a signed Barcelona shirt with the message: ‘For Gerd Muller, with my respect and admiration. A hug. Leo.’ scrawled into the yellow No 10 on the back of the jersey.

Muller was delighted with the gift Messi has shipped to him, and said he was ‘happy and proud’ to be the recipient of such a gesture from 'the best player in the world'.

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

The Bayern reserve team coach, who was a truly fearsome striker for club and country during his playing days, watched Messi’s unparalleled goalscoring run last year earn him another record earlier this month: a fourth Ballon d’Or crown.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes that Muller’s goalscoring record was a driving force for the Argentina captain in his bid to score as many goals as possible.

He said that Muller’s prolific performance 40 years ago was ‘a great motivating factor and stimulus for Leo.’

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Former Ballon d"Or winner Luis Figo backs Christiano Ronaldo to beat Lionel Messi to this year"s award

Former winner Luis Figo backs Ronaldo to beat Messi to this year's Ballon d'Or

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UPDATED:

18:15 GMT, 27 December 2012

Luis Figo has said there’s nothing to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from achieving Ballon d’Or glory this year.

The former Portuguese midfielder says Ronaldo is more than deserving of the honour, highlighting his excellent performances for both Real Madrid and their shared nation.

‘There’s nothing to stop [Ronaldo] from winning it,’ the former Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon hero.

Legend: Figo won the Ballon d'Or in 2000 in his first season for Real Madrid

Legend: Figo won the Ballon d'Or in 2000 during his first season for Real Madrid

‘He is one of the favourites to win all the individual trophies there are, even more so this year, because I think he had a good season in the league and did well at the Euros.’

Quoted in Mundo Deportivo, the 2000 Ballon d’Or recipient added: ‘There are a lot of people involved in the choice, so it is always difficult to know who will win.’

When he scores, he can really go for it. Ronaldo has netted seven league hat-tricks in each of the last two seasons.

Goal machines: Both Messi and Ronaldo have been in magnificent goalscoring form over the past few seasons

Goal machines: Both Messi and Ronaldo have been in magnificent goalscoring form over the past few seasons

Goal machines: Both Messi and Ronaldo have been in magnificent goalscoring form over the past few seasons

Figo is of course referring to the seemingly unstoppable Lionel Messi as Ronaldo’s competition, but even suggests it’s easier to win the honour now, than it was in his day.

‘It was one of the most special moments in my career on the individual side of things, because there are few players who have the opportunity to win this trophy.

‘At the time, there were lots of players who were in with a shout, whilst now there are four or five big candidates.

Ronaldo was unable to lead Portugal to glory in Euro 2012 after they were knocked out by Spain in the semi-final

Ronaldo was unable to lead Portugal to glory in Euro 2012 after they were knocked out by Spain in the semi-final

Messi's incredible hat-trick against Brazil silenced those who criticised him for his under-par performances for Argentina

Messi's incredible hat-trick against Brazil silenced those who criticised him for his under-par performances for Argentina

Wayne Rooney is the only English player on the shortlist for the award

Wayne Rooney is the only English player on the shortlist for the award

‘It was a privilege and a proud moment for me.’

Barcelona ace Messi has a truly mind-blowing ability for finding the back of the net and whether or not he’s a safe bet for the Ballon d’Or, he’s already had plenty of reason to celebrate.

He’s Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, something he achieved aged just 24, and earlier this matched Gerd Muller’s record for the most goals scored in a calendar year. If he is triumphant, it will be his fourth successive Ballon d’Or.

The initial 23-man shortlist, dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona players and featuring Wayne Rooney as the lone Brit, was whittled down to just three, with Andreas Iniesta completing the trio.

National coaches, captains and selected journalists will vote for the winner of the FIFA crown and the winner will be presented at the Zurich Kongresshaus on January 7, 2013.

They’re arguably the world’s greatest footballers, so what finer way to split them apart than by checking out their stats:

BATTLE FOR THE BALLON D'OR: RONALDO VS MESSI

RONALDO
MESSI

LA LIGA

Appearances:

17

17

Goals:

14

26

Assists:

3

5

ALL COMPETITIONS

Appearances:

26

26

Goals:

23

35

Assists:

4

8