The 2009 Ballon D’Or shortlist has been cut down to just ten names and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi remains the red-hot favourite to land the prestigious award.
A list of 30 names was cut to just ten as top soccer journalists prepare to cast their vote for the 2009 Ballon d’Or winner on Tuesday.
Amongst the star-studded names contained in the list includes current holder and FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Barcelona trio Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o is the only Serie A representative in the ten, whilst Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas all failed to make the cut.
Manchester United's hat-trick hero Wayne Rooney is also included in the final ten as is Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.
The overwhelming favourite however is Barcelona striker Lionel Messi.
The Argentine netted a staggering 38 goals and contributed 16 assists in just 51 appearances as Barca swept all before them to claim an unprecedented treble last season. Few will bet against the 22-year-old adding the Ballon d’Or to the Onze d’Or trophy he picked up earlier in the month.