Barcelona pair up against Ronaldo for Ballon D’Or



Lionel Messi, Cristiano
Ronaldo and Andres
Iniesta will contest the
2012 FIFA Ballon D’Or
after the initial 23-
man shortlist was
narrowed down to just
three today.
Ronaldo and Messi are
expected to go head to
head for the award after
stunning campaigns in La
Liga last time round, while
Iniesta is a relative
outsider despite being
named player of the
tournament for Euro 2012
and picking up the Best
Player in Europe award
ahead of his rivals for the
Ballon D’Or earlier this
season.
Messi leads the way after a
stunning 2011/12, which
saw him shatter the record
for most goals scored in a
single European season,
and brilliant start to the
new campaign.
His tally last term included
50 goals in La Liga which
helped him claim the Golden
Boot while he also set a
new mark for most goals
scored in a single
Champions League
campaign.
The Barcelona forward is
currently chasing another
record for the most goals
scored in a single calendar
year, and is just three
goals shy of equaling Gerd
Muller’s mark of 85 set in
1972. The 25-year-old has
the chance to set a new
milestone as he goes in
search of a historic 4th
straight Ballon D’Or award.
While Ronaldo has been
forced to stand by and
watch Messi claim all
manner of records, it was
the Portuguese winger who
had the last laugh as he
helped Real Madrid claim the
Spanish league crown from
their rivals for the first
time in four years last
season.
The former Manchester
United man also enjoyed a
brilliant year in front of
goal, notching 46 league
goals to become the first
player to surpass 40 goals
in back to back seasons.
Iniesta meanwhile stormed
the international stage to
help Spain become the first
team to win three
consecutive major
international tournament at
Euro 2012 last summer, and
in the process claimed
UEFA’s Best Player in
Europe award.
Betting firm Ladbrokes
currently place Messi as
1/6 favourite for the
prestigious prize, with
Ronaldo and Iniesta at 9/2
and 10/1.
Of the 20 players to have
missed the cut for the final
shortlist, five came from
the Premier League while
ex-Chelsea striker Didier
Drogba earned a nomination
for his efforts in helping
Chelsea claim their first
Champions League trophy.
Manchester City’s Sergio
Aguero, Mario Balotelli,
Yaya Toure all received
nods, while Manchester
United’s Robin van Persie
and Wayne Rooney were
also on the initial list.
The award will be
presented at the FIFA
Ballon d’Or Gala at the
Kongresshaus in Zurich on
January 7.

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946 thoughts on “Barcelona pair up against Ronaldo for Ballon D’Or

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