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Cristiano, Messi and Iniesta the finalists for 2012 Ballon d'Or

The Real Madrid forward and the two Barcelona players are the final three candidates for the award, which will be presented by David Beckham on 7 January in Zurich.


FIFA named the three finalists for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on Thursday: Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta.

These are the three footballers who have been voted the most times by the coaches and captains of all 209 football federations that are FIFA members, plus 49 journalists from the French magazine 'France Football'.

The inclusion of Iniesta means the Barcelona midfielder has the chance to become the first Spaniard to win the award since Luis Suárez in 1960.

The 23 candidates for the award were: Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema, Mesut Özil, Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Radamel Falcao, Sergio Agüero, Mario Balotelli, Yayá Touré, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Gigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Manuel Neuer.

Estadísticas AS.com