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The Ballon d'Or shortlist is out


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Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi are on the three-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

The trio were chosen from the 23-man list, which included Gareth Bale, and the world player of the year will be revealed on 13 January.

Barcelona's Messi has won four years in a row but Real Madrid forward Ronaldo is the favourite to win this year.

The women's final trio are Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA).

Fifa has also confirmed the final three for coach of the year - with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson vying with ex-Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes and Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp for the award.

The winners, to be announced at a ceremony in Zurich, will be decided by a vote among the captains and head coaches of all Fifa-affiliated men's national teams, as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football magazine.

France Football introduced the Ballon d'Or in 1956 to honour the European footballer of the year, with England's Stanley Matthews the first winner.

In 2007 the award became a world player award and three years later it merged with Fifa's own world player honour.

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Well deserved by Ronaldo.  Messi shouldn't have even been in the running this year since he's hardly played.

As much as I don't like Suarez, he deserves to be in the top 3 considering how well he's played.

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Fully deserved.

He has been the most consistent player for a number of years now. About time he won it.

Messi of course is probably still the greatest player we'll see for a good number of years but this year he has hardly played to justify being the best this year.

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