Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery shortlisted for FIFA Ballon d'Or award

Ronaldo is the favourite to take the prize. Photo: PA

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery will fight it out for the title of the world's best player after FIFA announced its shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or.

Argentina and Barcelona forward Messi has won the award for the world's best player in each of the last four years, while Portugal and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo won the award in 2008.

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France forward Ribery has had a sparkling year for treble-winners Bayern Munich.

Gareth Bale did not make the cut from the 23-man longlist despite scoring 26 goals for Tottenham last term before becoming the world's most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid for 100million euros (£85.3million) in September.

The winner will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich on January 13, 2014.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Jupp Heynckes and Jurgen Klopp are all nominated for the coach of the year award.