Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his delight and honour in being chosen in the final list of candidates for the Ballon d’Or.
The Portuguese ace was selected along with Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi on the back of a fantastic season at club level where his 46 goals in 38 league games helped Real Madrid claim La Liga.
Ronaldo will be hoping his efforts last season will be enough to pip his rivals to the award that he last won in 2008.
“For me it is an honour to be a candidate for the Ballon d’Or and for Fifa’s World 11, and I am very proud,” he told los Blancos’ official website.
“They are two very special awards and I think that being amongst the candidates is primarily the result of the hard work and support of my team mates, both at Real Madrid and Portugal.”
Jose Mourinho also made the shortlist for Fifa’s Coach of the Year for the third year running, and Ronaldo took the opportunity to herald his compatriot on his nomination.
“I would like to congratulate my coach, Jose Mourinho, for being picked as a candidate for the Coach of the Year, after winning the league title in a record breaking season, as well as the Spanish Supercup,” he added.
Despite already trailing league leaders Barcelona by 11 points, the Portugal captain then went on to reassure the club’s fans that he and his team intend to have another successful season.
“2012 has not finished yet and Madrid’s target is to finish the season in the best way possible,” Ronaldo continued.
“This is why we are concentrating on the next match, on Saturday, when we aim to give our supporters something to be happy about.”