Lionel Messi has once again made the FIFA Ballon D'Or shortlist, and looks set to win the World Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive year.

FIFA have released a 23 man shortlist of footballers that they want the press and head-coaches of each country to vote on. The player with the most votes will be crowned the Player of the Year in December, and will follow in the footsteps of many of the greats - including Platini, Cruyff, Baggio, Maradona and Beckenbauer.

Last year Messi won the Award even though his Argentina side had been knocked out of the World Cup Finals relatively early, so this year, having helped Barcelona complete a memorable treble of the Copa Del Rey, primera Liga and Champions League, he is the odds on favourite.

It's no surprise that Barcelona dominate the shortlist, with nine players including new-boy Cesc Fabregas, but its a bit of a shock to see just one English name up there. Lampard, Gerrard et al have all been overlooked, and the only man to make it on is Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

A shortened list of just 3 players is released a week before the fancy Gala dinner and Award ceremony, but few commentators can see beyond the scruffy little Argentinean with the magic feet taking the Award.

Full shortlist: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Dani Alves (Brazil), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay) David Villa (Spain), Xavi (Spain).