• Ballon d'Or

Ronaldo, Ribery, Messi for Ballon d'Or

ESPN staff
December 9, 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to win his second Ballon d'Or © Getty Images

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery have been named on FIFA's three-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.

There is no space for Gareth Bale, despite his world record £86 million transfer to Real Madrid from Tottenham.

Ronaldo and Ribery are widely expected to battle it out for the award, with Messi, the winner in 2010, 2011 and 2012, injured until the New Year. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on January 13.

Ribery was a key part of Bayern Munich's history-making team which won an unprecedented Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB Pokal Treble.

And the 30-year-old has again been influential in Pep Guardiola's unbeaten start to life at the Allianz Arena, scoring twice in Saturday's 7-0 victory against Werder Bremen.

Already named UEFA's Best Player in Europe, Ribery has been backed for glory by Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who said: "Franck is an unbelievable player. There is no other player in the world who deserves it [the Ballon d'Or] more."

Ronaldo, meanwhile, captained Portugal to World Cup qualification, scoring a hat trick in their play-off second leg victory against Sweden.

He has also netted 60 goals for club and country in 2013, an individual tally that led Madrid fans to push his candidacy by wearing masks of him during the club's 4-1 Champions League victory against Galatasaray.

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