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Messi, Ribery, Ronaldo named Ballon d'Or finalists


Zurich, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo were announced as the three finalists for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on Monday.

The honor is given to the most outstanding player of the past 12 months, and has been won the past four years by Barcelona's Messi.

But this year he will not be the favorite for the award after battling injuries for much of the year.

Ronaldo helped Portugal qualify for the 2014 World Cup with a hat trick against Sweden in the second leg of their two-legged playoff, while he netted 60 goals for club and country this year as the offensive leader for Real Madrid.

FIFA may have also helped Ronaldo by extending the voting period to allow the World Cup playoffs to be taken into consideration, which is where Ronaldo had his signature moment against Sweden.

Ribery played a key role in Bayern Munich's historic treble-winning campaign while also helping France qualify for the World Cup.

The 30-year-old has also helped Bayern to an unbeaten start in the Bundesliga this season through 15 games, and he has already been named UEFA's Best Player in Europe.

The award will be presented on Jan. 13 in Zurich.







































12/09 12:22:21 ET

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