"Messi

Messi of Argentina won the new FIFA Ballon d'Or and is favourite to win the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernandez have been shortlisted for the new UEFA Best Player in Europe Award - an award similar to the old Ballon D'Or which was merged with World Player of the Year to make the Fifa Ballon D'Or.

53 sports journalists from Europe's national associations will vote for their top player in Europe and the award will be handed out during the UEFA Champions League group stage on August 25.

Each journalist has to pick their best ranked players in order. The first player receiving five points, the second three, and the third one point. Barcelona star Messi is favourite to land the award, though Real Madrid's Ronaldo stands a good chance after scoring 40 goals last season.

Apart from the three, the rest of Europe's elite players were ranked -

Andres Iniesta - Barcelona - (33 points)
Falcao - Porto - (17 points)
Wayne Rooney - Manchester United (15 points)
Nemanja Vidic - Manchester United (5 points)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - AC Milan (4 points)
Gerard Pique - Barcelona (4 points)
Manuel Neuer - Bayern Munich (3 points)

UEFA had announced the Best Player in Europe award early last week. A statement in their official website read -

''Based on an initiative of the UEFA President, Michel Platini, aimed at reviving the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year award, UEFA, in partnership with European Sports Media (ESM), has launched the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

''The new accolade will recognise the best player, irrespective of his nationality, playing for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the previous season.

''For the inaugural award, players will be judged by their performances during the 2010-11 campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.''