Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo nominated for Ballon d’Or

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP file photo)

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

Twenty-three players, including Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, have been nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

Messi is just one of five Barcelona players up for the award — Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez — while Ronaldo is joined by five Real Madrid teammates — Iker Casillas, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso — on the ballot.

Other nominees are Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure of Manchester City; Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie of Manchester United; Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus; Didier Drogba of Shanghai Shenhua; Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris-St. Germain; Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich; and Neymar of Brazil’s Santos.

The short-list of three candidates will be announced Nov. 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The award ceremony is set for Zurich on Jan. 7.


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