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Messi, Ribery lead Ballon d'Or nominees

AP - Sports
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ZURICH (AP) -- Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Neymar are among 23 candidates on the short list for the Ballon d'Or, the award given to the world's best soccer player.

The list was released Tuesday by FIFA, with the winner announced Jan. 13 in Zurich.

Messi has won the last four Ballon d'Or awards in voting by coaches, team captains and media. The Argentine was injured late in the season and could not prevent Barcelona from being beaten by Bayern in the Champions League semifinals.

Ribery helped Bayern Munich capture the Champions League and Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

Two now-retired managers - Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Jupp Heynckes of Bayern - are among 10 nominees for FIFA's coach of the year award.

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