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FC Barcelona News: 5 December 2011; FIFA Ballon d'Or Shortlist Announced

Two of the three nominees for the FIFA Ballon d'Or are in this picture.
Two of the three nominees for the FIFA Ballon d'Or are in this picture.

Messi, Ronaldo and Xavi shortlisted for Ballon d'Or - ESPN Soccernet
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi have been shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011, FIFA and France Football magazine have announced. Messi won the inaugural award last year after FIFA's World Player of the Year crown and France Football's Ballon d'Or gong merged.

Cesc Fabregas: "We’re going to the Bernabéu to win and to play our style. We’re not afraid" | FC Barcelona
After the great win against Levante, and despite having a midweek Champions League match against BATE Borisov, it's inevitable that the fans are looking ahead to next weekend's Real Madrid game. In an interview with Barça TV, Cesc makes it very clear that, "The team has always been upbeat. We always try and compete at the highest level."

Messi matches his personal best with 16 league goals in the Camp Nou | FC Barcelona
Messi continues to make history. He’s unstoppable this season and is breaking every record in the book. In the game against Levante, he matched his total of 16 home goals for the whole of the 2009-10 season. And he’s done this before reaching the halfway mark of the current league campaign, so the fans can look forward to plenty more goals in 2012. His tally of 17 goals also keeps him in pole position to dispute the honorary title of "pichichi"with Cristiano Ronaldo, also on 17 goals.

Former Real Madrid coach John Toshack says Barcelona star Lionel Messi is 'undoubtedly the best player I've ever seen' - Goal.com
Former Real Madrid coach John Toshack has stated his belief that Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. "There's no one like him. He is the most decisive. A goalkeeper can make a difference, the centre-backs can win a game, but Messi can do it all himself. He is undoubtedly the best I've ever seen," the 62-year-old remarked.

Barca's world bid could prove costly - SuperSport - Football
Barcelona, while red-hot favourites to win their second Club World Cup in three years, know the 20 000-kilometre round trip to Japan and back could come at a heavy cost. Locked in a tooth-and-nail battle with Real Madrid in La Liga, Barca face their bitter rivals in next weekend's 'Clasico' before immediately jetting off to the Far East.

Real Madrid's brilliant 14 - Jose Mourinho's men can equal historic record with Clasico victory over Barcelona - Goal.com
But even without Xabi, Madrid were comfortable winners, strolling to a 3-0 success thanks to goals from Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo which ensured the number 14 on everyone's lip is now another - the number of consectutive victories achieved by this side over the last 10 weeks.

Real Madrid starlet Jese Rodriguez to make official debut in Champions League game against Ajax - report - Goal.com
Highly-rated youngster Jese Rodriguez could be in line for his official Real Madrid first team debut as coach Jose Mourinho has included the winger in his match squad for Wednesday's Champions League Group D game away to Ajax, AS reports.

Milan star Ibrahimovic: I'm the best in the world - ESPN Soccernet
Ibrahimovic, known for his high level of self-confidence, was not on the 23-man shortlist for the award but when asked which of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi was the better player and favourite to take home the prize, he simply said: "In my head I am the strongest of all. I certainly don't need the Ballon d'Or to prove that I am number one."

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