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Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo named as the finalists for 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or award

The world football governing body has announced the final three candidates for the prestigious individual award, while the Coach of the Year nominees were also revealed

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and France Football director Francois Moriniere have announced the final three candidates for the 2011 Fifa Ballon d'Or.

Title holder and Barcelona star Lionel Messi is one of the remaining three players still in the race to win the trophy. The Argentina international previously won the prestigious individual award in 2009 and 2010, and can become the first player since Michel Platini to win the accolade three times in a row.

Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d'Or in 2008, is also still in the race to win the trophy for a second time in his career.

The third remaining candidate is Spain international and Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who finished third in both 2009 and 2010.

Messi is also one of the three nominees to win the Puskas Award for Goal of the Year for his strike in the Champions League against Arsenal, while Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (winning goal against Manchester City) and Santos forward Neymar (goal against Flamengo) have also been nominated.

The three candidates for the title of Coach of the Year were also announced at the gathering at France Football's headquarters, with Barcelona's Pep Guardiola, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson and Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho making the final three.

In the women's section, reigning Ballon d'Or winner and Brazil star Marta, Japan's Homare Sawa and USA veteran Abby Wambach are in contention for the title of Female Player of the Year, while Bruno Bini (France), Norio Sasaki (Japan) and Pia Sundhage (USA) are the candidates for the Coach of the Year title.

FIFA BALLON D'OR
Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid
Xavi Spain Barcelona

FIFA WOMEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Marta
Brazil     
Western NY Flash
Homare Sawa
Japan
INAC Leonessa
Abby Wambach       
USA
magicJack

FIFA MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR
Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
Pep Guardiola
Barcelona
Jose Mourinho     
Real Madrid

FIFA WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR
Bruno Bini
France
Norio Sasaki
Japan
Pia Sundhage
United States

Poll of the day

Who should win the Ballon d'Or?

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