Cristiano Ronaldo, chosen to be one of the three 2012 Ballon d'Or finalists, sent a message to Real Madrid fans today: "2012 still hasn't finished yet and the goal of all 'Madridistas' is to finish the year in the best way possible. That's why we're focused on our next match, on Saturday, when we hope to make our fans happy."
"It's an honour and a source of pride for me to have been chosen as a candidate for the Ballon d'Or as well as for FIFA's ideal 11", said the Portuguese to realmadrid.com.
"They're two very nice prizes and I think that being among the nominees is first and foremost the result of the hard work and the help of my teammates at Real Madrid and for my country", he added.
"I want to congratulate my coach, José Mourinho, for being chosen in the best coach of the year category, after the titles of a record-breaking Liga and the Supercopa de España", he went on. It's the third consecutive year that his compatriot has been nominated for the coaches' award.
The other two Ballon d'Or finalists besides Cristiano Ronaldo are Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta. Messi, winner for the last three years, is once again a candidate in another battle with the Portuguese forward, who won it in 2008. Iniesta, meanwhile, comes to this award after being named as the best player in the European Championship 2012.
The names of the finalists in the various categories for the best of the year were announced today by FIFA in Sao Paulo, where the 2013 Confederations Cup draw is to take place on Saturday. The winners of all of FIFA's and France Football's retrospective prizes will be revealed at a ceremony in Zurich on the 7th January.