The stars of the soccer world gathered in Zurich on Monday (January 7) for the 2012 Ballon d'Or, FIFA's gala award ceremony for the best player in the world.
The nominees of this year's award and invited guests were greeted by cheering fans.
Argentina's Lionel Messi, still only 25, was named the world's best player for an unprecedented fourth year running.
The award came after the Barcelona player scored a remarkable 91 goals in 2012, a record for a calendar year.
Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo was second, the third time the 2008 winner has finished runner-up, and Barcelona and Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta was third as Spain again missed out.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrived accompanied by French actor Gerard Depardieu, who recently acquired Russian citizenship after a widely-publicized battle over proposed tax increases with the Socialist government in his native France.