Skip to main content

Ballon d'Or 2013: Can anyone dethrone Lionel Messi?

updated 6:16 AM EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
<strong>Lionel Messi </strong>(Barcelona &amp; Argentina) <!-- -->
</br><strong>CNN rating: </strong>Contender <!-- -->
</br>Can anyone dethrone Messi? The Argentine has lifted the prize in each of the last four years and once again starred for Barcelona during the 2012-13 season as they romped to the Spanish title, scoring 46 goals during a victorious La Liga campaign. Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
CNN rating: Contender
Can anyone dethrone Messi? The Argentine has lifted the prize in each of the last four years and once again starred for Barcelona during the 2012-13 season as they romped to the Spanish title, scoring 46 goals during a victorious La Liga campaign.
HIDE CAPTION
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Franck Ribery
Arjen Robben
Philipp Lahm
Thomas Muller
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Manuel Neuer
Robert Lewandowski
Andres Iniesta
Gareth Bale
Edinson Cavani
Neymar
Xavi
Luis Suarez
Andrea Pirlo
Thiago Silva
Robin van Persie
Yaya Toure
Radamel Falcao
Mesut Ozil
Eden Hazard
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA unveils the 23-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi has won the award in each of the last four years
  • Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo joins Messi on the 2013 shortlist
  • Six players from European champions Bayern Munich are also nominated

(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.

1. Real Madrid - $3.3 billion
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
The most valuable sports teams The most valuable sports teams

Read: Five reasons why Roma are Europe's best

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 January, 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.

Do you agree with our ratings? Let us know by tweeting the @CNNFC account.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT