Posted: Mon December 9, 2013 10:24AM; Updated: Mon December 9, 2013 10:24AM

Messi, Ronaldo, Ribery finalists for FIFA Ballon d'Or

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi, left and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the finalists for FIFA's Ballon d'Or award, joining Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery.
Andres Kudacki/AP

ZURICH (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery are in the running for the Ballon d'Or as the world's top soccer player.

FIFA announced the finalists Monday after changes in the voting rules made Ronaldo the favorite. FIFA gave voters two extra weeks to choose from 23 candidates.

In that time, Ronaldo's hat trick against Sweden helped increase his total to 67 goals for Portugal and Real Madrid in 2013.

Messi has won the last four player of the year awards. He scored 45 goals for Argentina and Barcelona before being injured.

Ribery was already honored as Europe's best player for helping Bayern Munich win the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup last season.

National team captains and coaches, along with selected journalists, vote for the award.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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