With just over a month left until the Ballon d’Or award is officially announced, World governing body FIFA has named Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery as the three nominations from a 10-player shortlist for football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
Messi, who has scooped the prize since 2009, could be in for a tough ride this year with Ronaldo running favourite.
The former Manchester United winger has already scored 25 goals for Real Madrid this season and bagged a stunning hat-trick as Portugal downed Sweden in a World Cup qualifying playoff to reach next summer’s finals in Brazil.
Ronaldo and Messi are joined by French international Frank Ribery who was already named Europe’s best player for helping Bayern Munich win the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup last season.
The winner will be announced on the 13th January 2014.