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Football stars Messi, Bale, Ronaldo and Torres ring in 2014 with parties


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Messi's celebrations in Rosario

Football stars from the Spanish football La Liga and Latin American world rang in the year 2014 with champagne and extravagant parties across the globe.

For Lionel Messi, it was a chance for him to reflect on yet another successful year, where he picked up the La Liga winners' medal and capped a marvelous mid-season by scoring 56 goals for both club and country.

To add to that, Messi's string of impressive performances also ensured Argentina's qualification for the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil this year.

So it was only apt that the 26-year-old returned to his hometown of Rosario, Argentina, to fully enjoy the summer holidays in the presence of close family and friends.

His partner, Antonella Roccuzzo, 25, also shared a toast with her famous beau in the backyard of the Messi clan's family home.

Messi, who is known to be very much a family man, often returns to Argentina during Christmas to meet with extended relatives and to help out with his charity, the Leo Messi foundation.

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Gareth Bale's new year party

Real Madrid stars Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo ushered in the New Year with their wives and girlfriends too,

Bale, who had a relatively adventurous 2013, became the world's most expensive footballer when he moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £86million ($180 million) in July this year.

He celebrated the arrival of 2014 with friends and his wife Emma Rhys Jones, 23 (seen on his left), at a rooftop party in England.

And although Bale's arrival was met with criticism after he failed to score in his first few matches, the Bernabeu faithful are warming up to the Welshman.

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Ronaldo and Irina Shayk

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, had plenty to celebrate in 2013, after scoring 69 goals in 59 matches over the calendar year.

Along with his girlfriend, Russian model Irina Shayk, the couple celebrated Christmas and New Year's at a private party in Portugal, complete with a figurine of Santa Claus.

Ronaldo may have also been toasting ahead of next week's Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich, where he is a favourite to pick up the award for the first time, after sending Portugal to the World Cup.

Last November, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was embroiled in a bitter war of words after he compared the Portuguese star to a "commander", which led to the player vowing to snub the awards ceremony next week.

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In England, Chelsea star Fernando Torres posted an interesting photo to commemorate his wife's birthday, which happens to fall on New Year's Eve.

Olalla Dominguez, who is also the Spaniard's childhood sweetheart, has been married to Torres since 2009.

The 29-year-old striker appeared to be presenting the sun to his wife as a token of his love on her birthday.

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Podolski fire cracker

Meanwhile, Arsenal ace Lukas Podolski posed for this candid Facebook photo, where he was seen clutching an enormous firework to celebrate the New Year.

Podolski's season has been ridden with injuries, and he was ruled out of action for four months after sustaining a hamstring injuring against Fenerbahche in the Champions League last August.

"I have been out for a long time. It was not easy, but I was happy to play again. When you are out for a long time it is not easy, but I am happy to be back."

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Gerard Pique

Barcelona stars Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique also reunited to ring in the New Year together.

Pique, who welcomed a baby boy with his partner, Colombian singer Shakira, appeared thrilled in the group shot taken at the Fabregas home.

Fabregas, seen above with his girlfriend, Lebanese socialite Daniella Semaan, is also looking forward to the World Cup with Spain this year.

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