Selasa, 10 Disember 2013

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery on three-man Ballon d'Or shortlist

The trio will unsurprisingly go head-to-head for the prestigious gong with the winner announced on January 13.

The finalists: Franck Ribery, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will go head-to-head

FIFA have revealed Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery as the three-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

The winner will now be announced on January 13 at a ceremony in Zurich, as a 25-man list was cut over the weekend.

Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Ronaldo was widely regarded as the favourite for the crown - particularly after his outstanding display against Sweden secured his country's World Cup progression.

That night, FIFA extended the voting deadline for the award, amidst suggestions the 28-year-old would go on to claim the honour.

However over the weekend, Lionel Messi's odds were slashed to 11/10 as he hopes to win his fifth successive Ballon d'Or, with reports suggesting the Barcelona wizard had won the vote.

French winger Ribery had an unforgettable season for Bayern Munich, playing a key role in his side's Champions League and Bundesliga triumphs and his achievements have been deservedly recognised.

UEFA president Michel Platini has admitted the vote this year is the "hardest in history" - with all three players enjoying fantastic 2013's.

Elsewhere, the three goals up for the Puskas Award - given to the best strike across world football - have been revealed.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's sensational overhead kick against England is the favourite, while Nemanja Matic's volley for Benfica and Neymar's Confederations Cup strike against Japan are also in the running.

FIFA also confirmed the final three for coach of the year with ex-Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes expected to pip Sir Alex Ferguson and Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp to the honour.


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