Posted October 05, 2012 on AP on Fox
Messi
This time a year ago, the race between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the world player of 2011 award wasn't a race at all, with the Argentine deservedly finishing as the runaway winner. Twelve months on, choosing between these brightest of stars in football's firmament is nigh-on impossible. As with James Bond actors - is Sean Connery or Daniel Craig your favorite? - splitting hairs between Messi and Ronaldo for the 2012 Ballon d'Or will be more a question of personal taste than of science. For me, Ronaldo just edges it - for the simple reason that in 2012 he loosened the stranglehold of brilliance that Messi has at the top of the game. And what, I hear you cry, about Messi's Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta? The stand-out performer in Spain's European Championship-winning team, crowned in August as UEFA Best Player in Europe, of course should be on the shortlist of 23 Ballon d'Or contenders that will be unveiled on Oct. 30. But the midfielder, a...
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