Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta short-listed for the Ballon d’Or

The trophy awarded to the FIFA 2012 Ballon d'Or winnerLa Liga’s Lionel Messi, Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo have been nominated as the final names to be in with a chance of winning the FIFA 2012 Ballon d’Or.

Messi, after winning the golden ball in 2009 and going on to win in 2010 and 2011 – when the Ballon d’Or merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year – could win a record breaking fourth consecutive award.

Before Messi’s win in 2011, Michel Platini stood as the only man to win three consecutive times between 1983 and 1985 but it would be no surprise if Messi surpassed Platini’s achievement this year.

Although, Iniesta, after receiving the UEFA Euro 2012 Player of the Tournament, and as a member to the Euro 2012 winning team with Spain, is by no means out of the running.

Ronaldo, the Portuguese national captain, had an electrifying season capped off by claiming the La Liga title with Real. However, he was widely criticised when failing to take a penalty against Spain in the Euro semi-final.

The Portuguese put his name down for the fifth penalty but Fabregas’ spot-kick wrapped up the game, leaving Ronaldo standing in the centre circle.

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