Platini: Ballon d'Or vote toughest in history

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MADRID (AP) -- UEFA president Michel Platini says the choice between Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery for the Ballon d'Or "is the most difficult in the history of the trophy."

In an interview with Spanish sports daily AS, the three-time Ballon d'Or winner from France also joked about FIFA's decision to extend the voting deadline by two weeks to Nov. 29.

He says "it happened to coincide with Portugal reaching the World Cup thanks to three goals from Ronaldo."

Platini says that either Andres Iniesta or Xavi Hernandez should have edged Messi for the 2010 trophy after helping Spain win its first World Cup in South Africa.

The Ballon d'Or will be awarded on Jan. 13.