Ribery, Messi, Ronaldo named Ballon d'Or finalists
The award will be presented on Jan. 13 in Zurich.
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.
Franck Ribery's Ballon d'Or endorsement
By Tim Keeble, Soccer Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
The signature moment in the soccer world in 2013 was undoubtedly the hat trick scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in the second leg of Portugal's 3-2 World Cup playoff win over Sweden.
The victory secured a place in the World Cup for Portugal and it was the kind of virtuoso performance that only a player of Ronaldo's caliber can produce.
In 2013 the Portuguese star netted 60 goals for club and country, while his rival, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, battled injury problems and finished the year with 41 goals.