[AWARDS] Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta were named as the three finalists for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or award given to the world's best player.
The FIFA Ballon d'Or was created in 2010 following the merger of the major awards -- the Ballon d'Or, created by France Football in 1956 and voted for by journalists, and the FIFA World Player of the Year, voted for by players and coaches.
Messi, who won both awards in 2009, scored 34 goals for Barcelona during the 2009-10 season. Teammates Xavi and Iniesta helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup.
The awards ceremonies will take play in Zurich on Jan. 10.
Brazilian Marta, who helped FC Gold Pride win the 2010 WPS title, and Germans Fatmire Bajramaj and Birgit Prinz are the three finalists for the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award.