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Ronaldo honoured by Ballon d'Or nod

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo says it is "an honour" to be a candidate for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or award alongside Barcelona rivals Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

• World XI shortlist of 55

Ronaldo was part of the initial 23-man list for the prize, which was cut down to the three La Liga players on Thursday evening.

After scoring 46 goals in 38 matches to help Madrid claim the La Liga title, Ronaldo says he is delighted to be in the running for his second Ballon d'Or award.

"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 Real Madrid's 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."

Ronaldo also credited manager Jose Mourinho for his fine form, and congratulated his compatriot for being nominated for the coach of the year award as Madrid aim to peg back an 11-point margin opened up by Barca in the race for this season's crown.

"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.

"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."

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