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HomeSportsCristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi headline Ballon d'Or shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi headline Ballon d’Or shortlist

Real Madrid’s blockbuster ‘BBC’ forward line and Barcelona’s devastating ‘MSN’ trio are set to go head-to-head for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award after all six were named on the 23-man shortlist by FIFA on Tuesday.

Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who set a club scoring record with his 324th goal on Saturday, will be going in search of his third consecutive World Player of the Year award.

He faces competition from his team-mates Karim Benzema of France and Welshman Gareth Bale who make up the Spanish side’s ‘BBC’ frontline.

Joining them are four-times winner Lionel Messi, the Argentine great, and his fellow South American strikers Neymar and Luis Suarez who form Barcelona’s feared MSN frontline that fired a combined 122 goals last season.

Barcelona, who won La Liga, the Champions League and domestic cup last year, have the most players on the shortlist with Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Argentine defender Javier Mascherano and Croatian Ivan Rakitic joining their front three on the award.

Real have five with Colombian James Rodriguez and German World Cup-winner Toni Kroos also named.

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