Neuer, Messi, CR make Ballon d'Or cut

Trio shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award; Ancelotti, Loew, Simeone vie for coach's award to be announced in Jan.

    Ronaldo won last year's award ahead of Messi and Ribery [Getty Images]
    Ronaldo won last year's award ahead of Messi and Ribery [Getty Images]

    Bayern Munich and Germany goal-keeper Manuel Neuer made the final three candidates for the FIFA Ballon D'Or award, joining former winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the shortlist.

    Argentina and Barcelona forward Messi, winner on four occasions, made the shortlist for the eighth time in a row and Portugal's Ronaldo, last year's winner, for the fourth time running.

    Germany coach Joachim Loew, Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone were selected for the Coach of the Year award.

    American forward Abby Wambach is among the finalists for FIFA Women's Player of the Year.

    Wambach, the 2012 winner, is competing with Brazilian forward Marta, a five-time winner, and German midfielder Nadine Kessler.

    The ceremony will take place in Zurich on January 12.

    The FIFA world player of the year award was founded in 1991 and merged with France Football's Ballon D'Or in 2010. 

    Neuer helped Germany win this year's World Cup and often doubled up as a sweeper, rushing out of his penalty area to intercept opponents' attacks.

    He is the first goal-keeper to make the final three since compatriot Oliver Kahn was included on the shortlist in 2002.

    Italy's Gianluigi Buffon was nominated for the old France Football award in 2006, although at the time that was restricted only to players based with European clubs.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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