Barcelona's Andres Iniesta: I hope Lionel Messi or Xavi win the Fifa Ballon d'Or

The midfielder says he would be equally delighted should either team-mate claim the award after they were shortlisted alongside Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in the final three
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has admitted he wants team-mates Lionel Messi or Xavi Hernandez to win the Fifa Ballon d'Or award for 2011, rather than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Barca pair were recently named in the three-man shortlist for the prestigious award alongside the Portuguese winger, with the winner to be announced at a special gala in Zurich on January 9th.

And Iniesta makes no apologies for favouring his club team-mates ahead of the profilic Portugal forward.

"The three that are there are the best three," admitted Iniesta, who was on the shortlist for the 2010 award won by Messi.

"But I have two colleagues and I will be happy if the winner is one of them."

The 27-year-old Spain international was speaking at the Albacete Sports Gala, where he was honoured with the award for Sports Excellence, and he said he is looking forward to next year.

He continued: "2012 will be an exciting year. Spain have a big challenge at Euro 2012, and Barcelona have a season that will also be exciting."

The Albacete native also said it would have been nice to see his hometown club visit Camp Nou this season and wished them luck for the remainder of the campaign.

"I've never hidden my love for Albacete, the city and its people," he added.

"The Copa del Rey clash they now have with Atletico Madrid is very important and exciting, but the league [Segunda Division B]
is important above all else this season."

Iniesta picked up a hamstring strain in a recent Copa del Rey clash with L'Hospitalet but insists he is not currently worried about it as he enjoys the winter break.

He said: "I'm fine. I'm trying to enjoy the holidays with the family, turning off a bit. I am also thinking a bit about my leg, although it is not important and I hope to be fit again very soon."

Barcelona restart their La Liga campaign against Espanyol on January 8th.