Barcelona Oct 30: Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi is a firm favourite among 23-strong contenders to win his fourth straight FIFA Ballon d'Or award.
Messi, 25, scored his 300th career goal during the 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano and is already celebrating after winning the Golden Boot award on Monday, for scoring the highest number of goals in Europe's domestic league last season.
The Argentinian, who won the FIFA World Player award thrice in a row, has scored 73 goals for Barcelona in all competitions this year, just short of Pele's 75 for Santos and Brazil in 1959 and nearing Germany and Bayern Munich legend Gerd Mueller's record of 85 in 1972.
Messi's closest rival to the award is Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who last won the award in 2008, along with teammates Iker Casillas Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.
However, Barcelona have their own candidates in Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, European player of the year Andres Iniesta and midfielder Xavi Hernandez.
Meanwhile, only five players have been shortlisted from the Barclays Premier League, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure along with rivals Manchester United's Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, the only English player on the list.
Champions League winner with Chelsea Didier Drogba, who currently plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, is also nominated.
For the FIFA Coach of the Year award, 10-strong list of managers including Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona), Jupp Heynckes (Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Loew (Germany), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid) and Cesare Prandelli (Italy) and Premier League's Roberto Mancini (Chelsea), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Roberto Mancini (Manchester City) are shortlisted.
Three finalists will be unveiled on Nov 29 while the winner will be announced at the FIFA Gala in Zurich on Jan 7 next year.