Lionel Messi nominated for POY award

Updated: December 5, 2011, 8:44 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez are finalists for the FIFA player of the year award along with Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

The three Ballon d'Or finalists were selected Monday from among 23 nominees. Messi beat Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi to win last year.

Messi could become the first player to win the FIFA honor three years in a row and join the Brazilian Ronaldo (1996, 1997, 2002) and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000, 2003) ...

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