• Lionel Messi is in the running for a fourth consecutive FIFA world player of the year award.
Twenty-three candidates were announced Monday, and Messi was joined by Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez on the Ballon d'Or shortlist.
Seven players for Spain are in contention after the national team retained its European Championship title in July. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is again the only England player on the list.
The leading three candidates will be announced Nov. 29 in Brazil. The winner will be announced Jan. 7 in Zurich.
Cano, Granderson options picked up
MLB • The New York Yankees exercised their $15 million contract options for second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Curtis Granderson for next season. Cano hit .313 with 33 home runs and 94 RBIs and Granderson hit 43 homers and drove in 106 runs, but hit .232.
Clijsters to face Venus one last time
Tennis • Kim Clijsters will play a ceremonial farewell match on Dec. 12 against Venus Williams. Clijsters retired after the U.S. Open in August but announced Monday that she will face her longtime rival in the Kim's Thank You Games at the Antwerp Sports Palace in Belgium.
McIlroy tops Tiger in exhibition match
Golf • Rory McIlroy shot a 5-under 67 to beat Tiger Woods by one stroke in a head-to-head, 18-hole exhibition match between the world's two top-ranked golfers at the Jinsha Lake Golf Club in Zhengzhou, China.
McIlroy, the World No. 1, took an early lead with two birdies on the first three holes and held on to beat Woods, who had two bogeys to go along with his six birdies for the day. The 14-time major winner finished with a 68.
From wire reports