Lionel Messi wins 'Onze d'Or'

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi has won the Onze d'Or for the third consecutive year, according to

The Argentine international was awarded the trophy by French football magazine 'Onze Mondial'. The magazine collects readers' votes to choose a winner of their annual prestigious award, and for the third time in as many years, Lionel Messi came out on top.

The 25-year-old won 47.45% of the vote, while Cristiano Ronaldo finished second with 27.95%. The Madrid and Barca duo dominated the voting, and Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao finished third with 6.1%.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema received 2.24%, while teammate Mesut Ozil and Barca midfielder Xavi Hernadez won 1.38%.

Messi's victory means the Argentina international has matched Michel Platini by winning the award for three consecutive years.

The Frenchman also won three times - in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Other previous Onze d'Or winners include German striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Argentina star Diego Maradona, Dutch international Marco Van Basten, French midfielder Zinedine Zidane, Manchester United frontman Eric Cantona and Brazil forward Ronaldo.

Messi is also a three-time Ballon d'Or winner, and is one of the favourites to land the award for a fourth time this November. No player has ever won the award on more than three occasions.

Johan Cruyff, Platini and Van Basten each picked up the trophy three times, but Messi could make history this year following his 72-goal campaign last season.

But his faces stiff competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, who fired Real Madrid to the La Liga title last year - their first league trophy since 2008.

The Portuguese forward is also a previous winner of the Ballon d'Or - the then-Manchester United star picked up the award in 2008.

The other contender for this year's accolade is Euro 2012 winner and UEFA Best Player in Europe winner Andres Iniesta.

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