Barcelona pair Messi and Iniesta, Real Madrid's Ronaldo confirmed Ballon d'Or candidates

The Ballon d'Or three-man shortlist has been released, with the usual suspects again featuring.

Lionel Messi is in contention for a fourth successive FIFA Ballon d'Or crown after being named on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona superstar Messi has enjoyed an incredible year and stands on the brink of another milestone.

His 82 goals in 2012 mean he is just three shy of former West Germany and Bayern Munich striker Gerd Muller's record of 85, set in 1972.

Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, provides strong competition after playing a key role as Real Madrid edged arch-rivals Barca in the Primera Division title race.

Spain and Barcelona playmaker Iniesta has had an outstanding year, shining for both club and country.

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