Colombian superstar Radamel Falcao was included among a shortlist of 23 players nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award Monday.
The Atletico Madrid striker is bidding to create history and become the first Colombian to win the award which is recognized as the most illustrious individual prize in soccer.
Falcao, or “El Tigre”, as he is known faces stiff competition from the two favorites for the award – Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.
Both have won the award before with Argentine Messi looking to make it four consecutive years that he is voted the best player in the world.
Falcao, however, has received huge support running up to the nominations with his club even publicizing a video as they attempt to boost his profile.
The 26-year old is quite rightly being mentioned in the same breath as Ronaldo and Messi with an impressive scoring record in 2012 which boasts 13 goals in nine games for Atletico and five in six games for Colombia.
Many players, coaches and experts in the game have described Falcao as one of the “top three players in the world” and it will come as no surprise if he is named among the three finalists in Sao Paulo on November 29.
The highlights of Falcao’s remarkable year have been his sensational hat-trick against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup, a brace in the final of the Europa Cup against Athletic Bilbao not to mention 10 consecutive games for club and country in which he has scored this season.
The winner, which will be announced in a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on January 23, will be the player who receives most votes from 209 captains and head coaches around the world’s as well as 49 international media representatives.