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Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta in race for Ballon d'Or

ESPN staff
November 29, 2012 « Scolari returns as Brazil boss | Chartbeat test »
Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are both in the running for the Ballon d'Or © PA Photos
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Andres Iniesta will compete with favourites Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or award.

The 23-man list for the prize, which has been a merger of the European Footballer of the Year and the World Player of the Year since 2010, has been whittled down to a three-man shortlist.

Barcelona star Messi, 25, is the current holder of the award, having won it for a second time in a row last year, pipping Real Madrid's Ronaldo.

Messi has been in incredible form for his club over the last 12 months, and he needs just three more goals to reach Gerd Muller's record of 85 strikes in a calendar year that was set in 1972.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, helped Madrid claim the 2011-12 La Liga title, with the Portugal striker scoring 46 goals on their path to glory.

Barcelona's Iniesta helped Spain win Euro 2012 when he was named as the tournament's best player. He previously finished as runner-up for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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