FIFA have confirmed that Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery are the three finalists for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
The trio have been seen as strong favourites to compete for the 2013 edition of the award, to recognise the best player in the game from the past 12 months.
FIFA, who run the award in collaboration with France Football magazine, have today announced that the Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern attacking trio have officially taken the top three positions in polling among national team Coaches and captains, as well as select members of the international media.
Messi has won the award in each of the past four years and made the final three in each of the six years, whilst this is the sixth time in the last seven seasons that 2008 winner Ronaldo has also made the shortlist.
They are joined by Ribery, who makes the final three for the first time in his career and is the first Frenchman to do so since Thierry Henry in 2006.
Votes will now be counted on the trio, with the winner announced at mid-January’s FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.