The final three-man shortlist for 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or revealed on Monday afternoon, and it’s none other than Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar. Twenty-three players were initially nominated for the prestigious award by FIFA and France Football magazine last month. Only one Briton, that is Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, and five other Premier League players – Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard were on that 23 member list. Messi already has won the award four times in the past. Ronaldo is hoping to complete a hat-trick of Ballon d’Or as he edged Messi in 2013 and 2014 but is up against the odds after he ended the 2014-15 season empty handed. On the other hand, Barcelona’s Brazilian star Neymar has already proved an increasingly important member for the Spanish giants and as Messi missed much of this season due to injury, the 23-year-old attacker is right now the top scorer in La Liga.
Apart from best male player of the year award, shortlist for best female player, best Men’s coach and best Women’s coach of the year also revealed. The winners of these prizes, as well as the Ballon d’Or itself, will be announced in a ceremony in Zurich on January 11 next year.
FIFA Ballon D’Or shortlist just announced: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar
FIFA Women’s Player of the Year shortlist: Carli Lloyd (US) Aya Miyama (Japan) Celia Sasic (Germany)
FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year shortlist Jill Ellis (US) Mark Sampson (England) Norio Sasak (Japan)
FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year shortlist Pep Guardiola (Bayern) Luis Enrique (Barcelona) Jorge Sampaoli (Chile)