Michael Owen believes that the Ballon d’Or will be fought this year between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Real Madrid and Barcelona forwards have respectively duelled for the FIFA award over the past few seasons, with Messi having come out on top on each of the last four editions.
Heading into the 2013 edition with both men on the 23-man shortlist once more, one former Madrid striker and recipient of the award is backing the duo to once more take first and second in the polling.
“I think it's been another great year of football, there's so many good players, but the two players who always come to the top of your list are Messi and Ronaldo,” Owen considered in conversation this week with FIFA’s official website.
“In my opinion they are by far the best two players in the world right now.
“Then there are some other players who have had some great success with their teams – Bayern Munich obviously spring to mind as one of the most successful teams over the last year, winning the Champions League and domestically winning the League and Cup.
“So players like Franck Ribery are in with a shout, but I certainly think Messi and Ronaldo are the best two players.
“They've consistently been very good and I'd think it would be one of them two.”