Barcelona faces a major test on Tuesday when it takes on Real Madrid for the first time this week.
Many think that Lionel Messi will win his record fourth Ballon d'Or on Jan. 7, but there is one major candidate that can shock the world and take it away from him.
Lionel Messi had a tremendous 2012 as he set the record for most goals scored in a single year with 91 and accumulated a number of other feats.
Lionel Messi's historic 90-goal year has likely secured his record fourth straight Ballon d'Or, but he does not seem to have the consensus vote among a number of major players.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are currently the front runners to win the Ballon d'Or. One could make an argument that the race is no longer in contention after Messi's historic goal scoring pace. However, neither of those two are garnering as much attention regarding the coveted prize.
As expected, FIFA announced today that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among the top three finalists for the coveted Ballon d'Or.
It seems that nothing can go wrong for Barcelona these days. Despite a few injuries to key players, the team is undefeated in La Liga this season and is a healthy eight points ahead of their rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta edged out Messi and Ronaldo to win the 2012 UEFA best player in Europe award.