Messi, Ribery Ronaldo on shortlist for 2013 Ballon d'Or

Messi, Ribery Ronaldo on shortlist for 2013 Ballon d'Or

PanARMENIAN.Net - Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo are on the three-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or, according to BBC Sport.

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

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

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

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

The winners will be voted for by the captains and head coaches of the men's national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football magazine.

France Football started the Ballon d'Or to honor the European footballer of the year and England's Stanley Matthews was the first winner in 1956.

In 2007 the award became a world player gong and three years later it merged with FIFA's own world player honor.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi, 26, has won the honor in each of the three years since the merge, as well as the year before it.

However Real Madrid and Portugal player Ronaldo, 28, emerged as the bookmakers' favorite after his fifth hat-trick of the season sent Portugal to the World Cup at the expense of Sweden.

Until that stage, Bayern Munich and France winger Ribery, 30, had been considered a leading contender after winning the treble with his club side last season.

Hours after that game ended, FIFA extended the voting period from Nov 15 to 29 after saying it had received a response of less that 50% from eligible voters before the original deadline.

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