It’s Barcelona vs Real Madrid!
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has the chance to add the Fifa World Player of the Year award to his Ballon d’Or prize for being Europe’s best player.
The 22-year-old, who would be the first Argentine to win the award, has been shortlisted alongside his Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid co-star Kaka complete the nominations.
England striker Kelly Smith has been shortlisted for the women’s award.
Messi, Xavi and Iniesta formed the creative hub of the Barcelona team, which won the treble of Champions League, domestic league and cup last season.
Messi’s looping header over Edwin van der Sar clinched Barca’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United in Rome.
Last week, the Argentine beat Ronaldo to the European Footballer of the Year award by a massive margin – 473 points to 233.
Now he is the firm favourite to land the Fifa award after coming second to Kaka in 2007 and Ronaldo in 2008.
England stars Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and John Terry all failed to make the shortlist after being included in an original pool of 23 contenders in October.
Nominees for 2009 Fifa World Player of the Year award:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Real Madrid
Andres Iniesta (Spain), Barcelona
Kaka (Brazil), Real Madrid
Lionel Messi (Argentina), Barcelona
Xavi (Spain), Barcelona (BBC Sport)
If Leo Messi doesn’t win this award I will eat a live donkey. Personally I think Xavi is as deserving of such an award but then a ball winning midfielder with fantastic touch and vision will always lose out to a high profile player such as his Argentine teammate. What are the chances of a Barcelona top three finish?