Ballon d’Or 2013: Can anyone dethrone Lionel Messi?
(CNN) — Time for a change? For the last four years, Lionel Messi has been unrivaled as the world’s finest footballer.
On Tuesday the sport’s global governing body FIFA and France Football unveiled the nominees for the 2013 Ballon d’Or, the award handed to the year’s best player, and once again Barcelona star Messi heads up the list.
The Argentine is joined on the 23-man shortlist by Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid goalscorer widely accepted as the one player who can challenge Messi’s supremacy.
But after Bayern Munich’s stellar 2012-13 season, Messi and Ronaldo face a raft of challengers from the reigning European and German champions.
Attacking talents Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller are joined on the list of nominees by Bayern teammates Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Can one of Bayern’s legion of top talents clinch football’s highest individual accolade? Will Ronaldo wear the crown for the second time in his career? Or will Messi reign supreme for a fifth year in row?
Ahead of the announcement of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner in early December, CNN anchor Amanda Davies picks out the contenders, the long shots and those on this year’s list who have no chance of seeing their name up in lights.
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