Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta shortlisted for Ballon d’Or

Updated: November 29, 2012

Footballs governing body Fifa announced today that Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta are shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or to be announced on the 7th of January.

The Argentine superstar looks certain to lift the award for a 4th consecutive year following his goalscoring exploits this year. He currently sits alongside Michel Platini and Dutch stars Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten have all won three accolades.

Ronaldo scored an incredible 46 goals in La Liga last season, a feat that would have lifed him the award under any normal circumstance, however Messi with 50 and various other goalscoring feats like the 82 in all competitions so far this year, only 3 shy of Mueller’s record set in 1972, almost puts the brilliant Ronaldo in the shade.

While Messi suffered heartache in being denied in La Liga by Real Madrid and in the Champions League semifinals by Chelsea, Ronaldo, title winner with Real, guided Portugal to the semifinals of Euro 2012 before they lost on penalties to Iniesta’s Spain.

Iniesta was voted the best player at Euro 2012 and edges out Xavi, who has three times finished the final poll in third spot.