Ballon d'Or 2013: Can anyone dethrone Lionel Messi?
October 30, 2013 -- Updated 1016 GMT (1816 HKT)
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.
Robin van Persie
- 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.
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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.
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