Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have been shortlisted for the 2015 Ballon d’Or. FIFA whittled down the 23 names to just three on Monday.
Four-time winner Messi is the heavy favourite to land the award for his heroics in Barcelona’s sensational treble run last term, while Ronaldo is looking to make it three in a row and draw level with his Argentine rival in terms of number of wins.
The Ballon d’Or ceremony would go down in Zurich on January 11, 2016.
Making his debut on the podium is Messi’s Barcelona teammate Neymar Jr, who netted 10 goals en route to Champions League glory, including a goal in the final, and has been in fabulous form this campaign.
The Brazil captain is currently the top scorer in La Liga with 14 goals and has been touted as the best player in the world on present form.
The candidates for the FIFA coach of the year are: Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique Martínez (Spain/FC Barcelona), Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chilean national team).
While the nominees for Best Goal (Puskas award) are: Alessandro Florenzi – 16.09.2015, AS Roma – FC Barcelona, UEFA Champions League / Wendell Lira – 11.03.2015, Atletico-GO – Goianesia, Campeonato Goiano (Brazil) / Lionel Messi – 30.05.2015, Athletic Bilbao – FC Barcelona, Copa del Rey (Spain).