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Does Barcelona’s Messi have competiton for his fifth Ballon d’Or?

Today the nominations for the 2013 Ballon d’Or were released to the public. After looking at the list I sat down and thought, out of that list of fifty of the biggest names in world football who actually has any chance in beating last year’s winner Messi for FIFA player of the year and preventing him from reaching an astonishing five Ballon d’Or’s. If this was last year and I read the list that came out then I would’ve said that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi where the only two that have any realistic chance of winning, but this year I read it differently.

Of course both Ronaldo and Messi featured on this list but then I saw some other name like the Bayern Munich player Franck Ribéry, the PSG Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Barcelona duo Xavi and Iniesta. So this year to me looks like it will be a lot closer than it has ever been in recent times. I think the biggest threat to stopping Messi getting a 5th Ballon d’Or apart from Ronaldo is the Frenchman Ribéry.

Ribéry who played 53 games games for Bayern Munich last season scoring 12 and assisting 8 times for the club helped Bayern to a champions league win and also was crucial in helping Bayern to an impressive treble and an overall unbelievable season for the club. Ribéry was one of the most feared players in all of Europe last year and has been one of Bayern’s top players since he joined the club in 2007 for a record fee (at the time) of 25m and has proved to be worth every cent. His most recent achievement has been winning UEFA European player of the year 2012/2013 beating Ronaldo and Messi to claim that title, many people have said that Ribéry will win this year’s Ballon d’Or including me and this is why I think Ribéry is a threat to both Ronaldo and Messi.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic I believe is also a good bet to win the Ballon d’Or this year. The controversial Swede gave us some of the most memorable moments in football last year and his overhead goal against England was certainly one of those moments. But this is not the reason I believe he has a shot in being crowned the FIFA Player of the year, after coming to PSG from AC Milan he was arguably the key to PSG’s Ligue 1 win with an astonishing 30 goals in 34 games and also helping PSG to get to the quarter finals in the Champions League.  Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 32 seems to get better with age where most players would lose form at this age and be thinking about retirement Zlatan just keeps on scoring some of the best goals in football history. Every team Ibrahimovic goes to he brings success to that club so that is the reason I think Ibrahimovic could edge past the two favourites Ronaldo and Messi and prove once and for all he is the king of football!

So has this article given you second thoughts on who will be crowned FIFA player of the year? Maybe none of the players mentioned above will win it; maybe it will go to the Bayern keeper Neuer or the king of assists Mesut Özil or maybe the young Brazilian Neymar will win it? But no doubt this will be one of the tightest Ballon d’Ors to call in years.

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