Messi favourite to land hat-trick

FOOTBALL: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is the overwhelming favourite to win the prestigious Fifa Ballon d’Or award for the third year in a row after the three-man shortlist was announced yesterday. The 24-year-old Argentine, who scored a staggering 53 goals in all competitions last season, is joined by his Barcelona team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid’s Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo.