The Ballon D'or is set to be announced on the 10th of January 2011 and it's the first time it has been merged with the FIFA Player Of The Year. Messi is the current FIFA Player Of The Year & Ballon D'or Winner.
The shortlist consists of the Barcelona trio of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta & Xavi. They have all been superb this year and Messi has topped the goal scoring charts and broken records, scoring 47 in 59 apps in 09/10 and 19 goals in 17 appearances so far this season, clearly showing why he's been nominated.Iniesta isn't exactly a goal scoring midfielder but his flair, creativity and pace are what have got him here today. He became an international hero when he scored the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup. His vision & creativity cause all defenders havoc and he hasn't been shy in front of goal this season, having netted 4 and assisting 3 in Barca's opening 16 games. He doesn't necessarily excel in assisting but his range of passing is flawless and when he combines with Xavi it's football heaven.
Xavi has had another great season at Barca, finishing the 09/10 season with 14 assists, a second best career high. He is the glue that holds the team together and is influential wherever he plays for the club. He does more of the 'behind the scenes' and is rarely noticed amongst onlookers. So far this season Xavi has scored 3 and assisted 3 in 14 games for Barca.
Many people would say that Cristiano Ronaldo was overlooked for the final 3 and I can't disagree. He was on fire for Real during 09/10 season, netting 26 in 28 and was instrumental in their title challenge last season. Some more players who were also overlooked may include Wesley Sneijder, Diego Forlan, who was certainly on the top of his game come the World Cup.
I'd personally want Messi to win but then again this is like the World Cup 2018/2022 hosting saga all over again, as you know the decision will shock you and leave you stunned. As I said I WANT Messi to win but I'll concede there's a chance Iniesta/Xavi might nick it, which I really don't mind.