30 Oct 2012

Messi heads Ballon d'Or shortlist

11:56 am on 30 October 2012

Fresh from scoring his 300th career goal in the Spanish football league at the weekend, Barcelona's Lionel Messi heads a 23-strong shortlist for a fourth Ballon d'Or award.

Argentina's Messi is favourite to land the award again early next year after a Spanish season in which he scored 73 goals for Barcelona in all competitions, leaving him just two short of Pele's 75 for Santos and Brazil in 1959.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is the only English player in the list.

A three-man final shortlist will be unveiled on November 29th, along with the final shortlists for the three other categories.