Published November 29, 2012
Lionel Messi is a favorite yet again for FIFA's world player of the year award.
Messi is joined by fellow finalists and La Liga competitors Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta, who were picked from a list of 23 candidates for this year's Ballon d'Or.
Messi is looking to become the first player to win the award four times after winning the last three years.
The winner will be announced in Switzerland on Jan. 7.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho were in the running for the world coach of the year award.
Spain's La Liga dominated the nominations for FIFA's coveted award accounting for over half of the 12 Ballon d'Or hopefuls.
Of the12 La Liga nominees, 11 came from Spain's top two clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, including Messi and Ronaldo.
Last month, Messi was presented with his second Golden Boot award in recognition for scoring the most goals in Europe's domestic leagues last season.
The 25-year-old Messi scored a Spanish-league record 50 goals for Barcelona, beating fellow Spanish league star Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid by four goals.
Messi dedicated the award to his teammates, saying "it is a prize for scoring goals, but without my teammates I couldn't have scored them."
The Argentina international won his first Golden Boot in 2010 for his 34 goals that helped Barcelona win the league title.
With reporting by The Associated Press.