Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Manuel Neuer are the three players to have made the final cut for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.
Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, 29, has scored 55 goals in 55 appearances for club and country so far this year, including 28 goals in 22 appearances (all competitions) for the Los Blancos in the 2014-15 season.
Messi, 27, has 52 goals in 62 appearances for club and country so far in 2014, including four goals at the Fifa World Cup in the summer, as Argentina reached the final for the first time since 1990; only to lose narrowly to Germany. He was also named player of the tournament.
Manuel Neuer, 28, won a domestic double- the Bundesliga and the German Cup- with Bayern Munich and the Brazil World Cup, where he was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Neuer is the first goalkeeper to make the final three-man shortlist since compatriot Oliver Kahn made the cut in 2002.
Messi has either won or emerged runners-up in each of the last seven editions of the Ballon d’Or- formerly the Fifa World Player of the Year award. The Argentina skipper broke the La Liga goalscoring record last month and currently holds the Uefa Champions League all-time goals record.
The Barcelona striker won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, while Portuguese superstar and holder Ronaldo had clinched it in 2008 and last year.
Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) were shortlisted for the women’s award.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Germany’s World Cup Winning coach Joachim Low are in the race for the Fifa coach of the year.
Wolfsburg coach Ralf Kellermann, Germany’s Under-19 and U-20 coach Maren Meinert and Japan coach Norio Sasaki are vying for the Fifa world coach of the year for women’s football award.