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FIFA Ballon d'Or award finalists: Iniesta, Messi and Ronaldo
The finalists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award, one of the most prestigious awards, have been decided with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the final three from an original list of 23 players.

IF PELE and Maradona were considered two of the greatest football players of the past, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fall in the same bracket for the modern era, where they have taken the world by storm with their club performances primarily. These two players along with Andres Iniesta are three finalists that have been shortlisted to receive FIFA Ballon d'Or award from a list of 23 players who were originally selected. Iniesta and Messi are Barcelona players with the latter playing for Argentina and the former for Spain while on national duty. Ronaldo plays his club football for Real Madrid and represents Portugal in national colours.

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The list of 23 players was narrowed down to three finalists on November 29, where the Fifa Ballon d’Or award is expected to be given out on 7 January 2013. Those who were involved in the process of deciding the finalist must have had their task cut out, as there were a number of world class players in that list, which included Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid and Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain and Sweden), just to name a few.

Every football fan who has been following the beautiful game of late were aware of Messi's and Ronaldo's performance. So, it was understood that these two players would make the cut. It was for the other final spot, which had plenty of contenders, with the fight expected among Falcao, Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo, but Iniesta must be lucky to be included in the final three, for many had expected Radamel Falcao to make the cut, as he has been one of the hottest properties of world football with his performances on the field.

The award holds a special place, as it is the coaches and captains of international teams along with journalists who vote for the winner. The FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which made its debut on 2010 was won by Lionel Messi and he also won it in 2011. Messi has the chance of winning a hat-trick of this award, if he does so this time around as well.

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