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FIFA Ballon d'Or Shortlist Revealed

FIFA’s final 3 man shortlist for the coveted World Player of the year award were announced yesterday and usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo made the Cut. Joining the pair is Messi’s Barcelona team mate Xavi.

Messi who has won the award on two previous occasions, is looking to make history by wining the award for the third consecutive year at the award gala ceremony in Zurich’s Kongresshaus on January 9th. FIFA arrived at this list after votes from coaches (33%), captains of national teams (33%) and selected journalists (33%).

Joining the three male shortlist are Brazilian Marta, Homare Sawa of Japan and Abby Wambach of the United States. These are the Female players who will fight it out for the coveted title of Women’s Player of the Year.

However, the Argentine will not be the only one looking to make history as Brazilian Marta will also be keen on wining the award for a sixth consecutive year!

Xavi finished as third runners up last year while Ronaldo scooped the award in 2008. All players on the male list are talented however, the real battle will be between Messi and Ronaldo.

Both players have broken a host of records this year at club level and this is expected to greatly influence the vote and will be what determines the winner. Ronaldo’s club record with Madrid would make even the most talented of players feel inferior as the Portuguese has scored an impressive 83 goals in 77 appearances for Madrid.

Messi on the other hand has seen his goal scoring prowess make him the second all time top goal scorer for Barcelona. FIFA’s announcement comes only a few short days before the Clasico between Mardid and Barcelona and a lot will be riding on this match not only for the players, but also in the race to win the La Liga title.

Barcelona are 3 points adrift of leaders Madrid and a win for the Blaugrana on Saturday at the Bernabeu would take them top of the standings on goal difference. However, the Catalans have played a game more than Madrid.

It will be amazing to see both players approach the match. Personally, i feel Ronaldo deserves the award more than Messi but that’s just my two cents worth of advise.