The 2011 Golden Ball winner will come from Spain’s La Liga after the three-man short-list for the honour was revealed on Monday.
The Barcelona duo of Lionel Messi and Xavi are up for the top prize, while Real Madrid sensation Cristiano Ronaldo is also in contention.
Messi is the hot favourite to win the award for the third-year running following his triumphs in 2009 and 2010.
The 26-year-old Ronaldo of Portugal was voted as Europe’s top player in 2008, while Xavi came second in the 2010 standings.
The FIFA Golden Ball winner will be announced in Zurich on January 9, 2012.
Journalists, national team Coaches and captains are permitted to vote in the annual event.
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