No Surprise in Golden Ball Final NominationsSports | December 9, 2013, Monday // 15:47| views
Lionel Messi (L), Franck Ribery (C), and Cristiano Ronaldo (R) will battle for football's most prestigious individual award. Photo by uefa.org
Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, and Cristiano Ronaldo are the three finalists for the 2013 Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) award.
Messi, who has dominated, winning the award in all of the last 4 editions, scored a staggering 46 goals in Barcelona's title-winning campaign. However, several injuries, which have kept him out of the pitch for weeks, have negatively affected his performance in the new season.
This year, the Argentine faces a fiercer contest than ever before. His rival in Real Madrid, Ronaldo, has kicked off the new season with 28 goals for club and country.
Meanwhile, Ribery was instrumental in leading Bayern Munich to a treble-title in the past season. He has also starred for France, playing a key role in their qualification for the World Cup.
The winner of the prestigious award will be announced on January 13 in Zurich.
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