Messi

Messi

In football news, 

And there were no surprises as Lionel Messi was presented with FIFA's Ballon d'Or award at a gala ceremony in Zurich this morning. 

Winning the accolade for an unprecedented 4th consecutive year, Messi is now being hailed as 'The Greatest Player of his generation'. 

The Barcelona star defeated Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta for the coveted FIFA prize.

The Argentinian striker received a vote share of 42 percent to Ronaldo's tally of 24 percent. 

Meanwhile, Vicente del Bosque was named 'Coach of the Year' for 2012. 

And that's after seeing off competition from Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho and former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola. 

Del Bosque won the award after steering his Spanish compatriots to their 2nd straight European championship trophy.

Now, Slovakia's Miroslav Stoch edged out both Radamel Falcao and Brazilian striker Neymar for 'Best Goal of the Year.'

The Uzbekistan Football Federation took the fair play award while a special FIFA president accodale went to German legend, Franz Beckenbauer.

Still on football, Howard Webb will referee this Sunday's EPL clash between Manchester United and Liverpool. 

Webb has not taken charge of this fixture since an FA Cup tie 2 years ago. 

In that game, which Liverpool lost 1-0 at Old Trafford, he controversially awarded a penalty against the visitors and sent off skipper Steven Gerrard. 

Webb made history in 2010, when he became the 1st man to officiate the grand final of both the UEFA Champions League and the World Cup in the same year. 

The 41-year-old has refereed every season in the Premier League since his introduction to the top flight in 2003. 

Having lost 2-1 at home to the Red Devils 4 months ago, Liverpool will be looking for some payback in this Sunday's trip to Old Trafford. 

Onto cricket news, 

Shane Warne has accepted a one-match ban and fine after a clash with Marlon Samuels in Australia'sTwenty20 competition. 

As the team captain of the Melbourne Stars against city rivals the Renegades, Warne hit Samuels with the ball as he attempted to return it to the wicketkeeper. 

In return Samuels, threw his bat in the 43-year-old spinner's direction before an angry exchange at Melbourne's Cricket Ground. 

Warne was fined US$4,500 dollars by Cricket Australia, with part of that for using obscene language in a match the Renegades eventually won by 9 wickets. 

Warne will now miss the match against the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday as his team aim for a place in the semi-finals.