Art And Culture

Trio Battle for FIFA Ballon d’Or Crown

Trio Battle for FIFA Ballon d’Or CrownTrio Battle for FIFA Ballon d’Or Crown

Past winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are again the leading contenders for the FIFA Ballon d'Or as the world's best player.

According to the Dailymail website, the pair, stars of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, have both been named on the three-man shortlist for the 2015 edition of the prestigious award along with Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Current holder Ronaldo and Messi have already won the award six times between them.

Portugal international Ronaldo, 29, scooped the prize for the second time last year and is again considered the favorite having scored 50 goals in 46 appearances for club and country in 2014. He also helped Real win the Champions League, Copa del Rey and UEFA Super Cup. Four-time winner Messi, 27, who recently broke the overall goalscoring record in La Liga, helped Argentina to the World Cup final and won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament in Brazil.

Neuer, 28, was one of the stars of Germany's World Cup success, winning the Golden Glove as the tournament's best keeper. He is long established as number one for club and country and added two further medals to his collection as Bayern won a domestic double last season. He is the first goalkeeper to make the final three since compatriot Oliver Kahn was included on the shortlist in 2002. The trio was nominated for the award after initially being named on a long list of 23 candidates. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on January 12.