Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel
Neuer have made the three-man shortlist for the
2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or.
The Real Madrid attacker, 29, could win the
prestigious individual award for a third time after
lifting the trophy in 2008 and 2013.
Ronaldo played a key role in Madrid’s successful
Champions League campaign last season, scoring
17 goals to set a new record for most goals scored
competition in one season.
Barcelona star Messi, meanwhile, is in contention
to scoop the accolade for a record fifth time, and
has hit top form in recent weeks to add weight to
The 27-year-old attacker did not win any major
trophies with Barcelona in 2014, but enjoyed a
successful season on a personal level as he became
both La Liga and Champions League all-time top
scorer in November.
Neuer, finally, makes the three-man shortlist for
the first time in his career and could become the
first goalkeeper since Lev Yashin in 1963 to be
voted the world’s best footballer.
The 28-year-old won the Bundesliga title and DFB
Pokal with Bayern Munich, before crowning a
superb year by winning the World Cup with
Other favourites such as Thomas Muller, Toni
Kroos, Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm miss out on
a podium spot.
Fifa and France Football will announce
the winner on January 12 at the Fifa
Ballon d’Or Gala.