Ronaldo, Messi, Neuer Make Three-Man Ballon D’or Shortlist

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Cristiano RonaldoLionel 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 in the 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 his case.

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 Germany.

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.

Courtesy: goal.com

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