Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Barca team mates Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez have been nominated for the FIFA player of the year award.
The three nominees have been chosen Monday from 23 prominent footballers. Last year, it was Messi who won the top FIFA award and beat his teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
If Messi wins the award this year as well, he will become the first footballer to claim the FIFA honor for three consecutive years and beat the record of Zinedine Zidane and Brazil’s Ronaldo who also won this award three times , but not in a row.
FIFA united the player of the year award with France’s Ballon d’Or last year to create one award. Former French footballer and current UEFA president Michel Platini, and retired Dutch players Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff have also won the Golden Ball three times.
Messi has netted 27 goals this season and Ronaldo 6 goals less, with 17 goals in the Spanish La Liga. The two rivals will face each other in a Spanish league match on Saturday.
In the meantime, Messi and Xavi’s coach Pep Guardiola, Ronaldo’s manager Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s sir Alex Ferguson are finalists in the best coach competition.