LIONEL MESSI CAN make history as the first footballer to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award four times.
FIFA and France Football magazine confirmed the least surprising shortlist of all-time this afternoon with Messi, Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo 2012’s three nominees.
Last year Messi, 25, joined French legend Michel Platini as the only players to win three straight titles. Dutch duo Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten have also won the award three times.
US stars Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach are joined by Brazil’s Marta on the shortlist for women’s player of the year while the coach of the year award will be contested by Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Spanish manager Vicente del Bosque.
Bruno Bini (France), Norio Sasaki (Japan) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden) are nominated for women’s coach of the year. The Puskas award for best goal will go to Falcao, Neymar or Miroslav Stoch.
The winners will be announced on 7 January in Zurich.
Messi is the clear favourite for the Ballon d’Or — but who would you like to see win this year’s award?