Football

Cristiano Ronaldo 'proud' with Ballon d'Or nomination

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Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed his pride at being included in the final three man shortlist for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or, alongside Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

Ronaldo, Messi and Iniesta were named as the contenders to lift the crown after the initial 23-man shortlist, which included the likes of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, was whittled down to just a trio.

Messi is the favourite with the bookmakers to win the award for a fourth consecutive year, with Ronaldo second and Iniesta listed back in third to follow up the Best Player in Europe crown with the Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo triumphed in the Ballon d'Or in 2008 during his time with Manchester United, and has finished in the top three behind Messi in every year since.

The Real Madrid forward, however, says it is merely an honour to be nominated for the prestigious trophy, while he was also pleased to be in contention to make the FIFA/FIFPro World XI for 2012.

"For me it is an honour to be a candidate for the Ballon d’Or and for Fifa’s World 11, and I am very proud," Ronaldo told the official Real Madrid website.

"They are two very special awards and I think that being amongst the candidates is primarily the result of the hard work and support of my team mates, both at Real Madrid and Portugal."

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