Barcelona star Messi gets Hulk's vote for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or
2012 has been an interesting year for Zenit striker Hulk. First he secured another Primeira Liga with FC Porto, then a silver medal with Brazil at the London Olympics followed by a €40 million move from Portugal to Russia to join Zenit St Petersburg.
So it's been a hectic 12 months for the 26-year-old, but the forward has no hesitation when looking back on who has been the best footballer over the last year and, for him, it's Lionel Messi.
Speaking to Fifa.com he said: "To my mind the best player around today is [Lionel] Messi. Barcelona have some great players and a fantastic team, which makes it easier for them to get results and for their individual qualities to shine through. Cristiano Ronaldo is a matchwinner too and scores a lot of goals. When you talk about the best player in the world it’s between those two, though my vote would go to Messi."
The former Porto star, who spent two years playing in Japan earlier in his career, was also asked who he thought was the best coach over the past 12 months.
"Picking a coach is harder because we don’t see what goes on with teams on a day-to-day basis. That’s why I think people always choose someone who’s won a trophy, like the UEFA Champions League, because they know how hard it is to win it. So I’d vote for Roberto Di Matteo of Chelsea.
"I don’t know if he’s the best coach but you only have to look at what he achieved in taking on the job halfway through the competition, beating Barcelona and then winning it. It was a job very well done. I watched Chelsea’s games, and in technical and tactical terms they played very well."