Messi aims for historic 4th world player award

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Associated Press

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:06 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Lionel Messi can break another soccer record on Monday by being selected the world's best player for an unprecedented fourth time.

The Barcelona and Argentina forward, who scored 91 goals in 2012, is the favorite to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or prize ahead of club teammate Andres Iniesta and his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, who complete the three-man shortlist in Zurich.

A fourth straight title would lift Messi above three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winners Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo of Brazil. Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten each won the original Ballon d'Or three times when only European players were eligible.

Iniesta starred as Spain won the European Championship for its third straight major tournament title.

Ronaldo's goals helped Madrid take Barcelona's Spanish league title.

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