Ballon d’Or 2013: Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery make final shortlist
Ballon d'Or 2013: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery make the three-man shortlist for the prestigious prize
Lionel Messi remains in the running for a record fifth straight Ballon d’Or award after the three-man shortlist for the prize pitted him against Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery.
Argentina star Messi, 26, has won the prestigious accolade for the last four years in a row and led Barcelona’s charge to the La Liga title last term, netting 46 goals.
France international Ribery, 30, enjoyed a stellar campaign as he helped Bayern Munich to an unprecedented Treble.
The 28-year-old Ronaldo, meanwhile, has made an incredible start to the 2013-14 season for both club and country, scoring a total of 28 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal.
Gareth Bale and five Premier League players – Eden Hazard, Mesut Ozil, Luis Suarez, Yaya Toure and Robin van Persie – were all nominated in the original 23-man shortlist for the award.
Ronaldo, who has not won the award since 2008, recently insisted that collective success in football is more important than any individual accolades.
“The Ballon d’Or is not the most important thing in a footballer’s career. There are many more years,” said Ronaldo.
“It is important for many players and I can understand that but it’s just an individual trophy.
“Of course, it would be nice to win but it would not be the end of the world otherwise. Moreover, great players who deserved it have never won it.”
The winners will be announced at a star-studded ceremony in Zurich on 13 January.
Ballon d’Or 2013: Shortlists
Ballon d’Or 2013:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Franck Ribery (France)
Men’s coach of the year:
Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United former coach)
Jupp Heynckes (FC Bayern Munich former coach)
Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund)
Women’s player of the year:
Nadine Angerer (Germany)
Abby Wambach (USA)
Women’s coach of the year:
Ralf Kellermann (VfL Wolfsburg)
Silvia Neid (German national team)
Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Swedish national team)
Puskas goal of the year award:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden v England in November 2012)
Nemanja Matic (Benfica v Porto, Liga in January 2013)
Neymar (Brazil v Japan in June 2013)