Three obvious names left in the running for top player gong.
The Ballon d’Or shortlist has been whittled down to just three names as the usual suspects of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are joined by Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the top prize, the Daily Mirror reports.
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Neuer, the outsiders choice, has enjoyed a massively successful season in 2014 – having won the Bundesliga by some distance – he followed that up by lifting the World Cup this summer and did it all conceding just 13 goals along the way.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, lifted the Champions League with Real Madrid, and whilst Lionel Messi won absolutely nothing with Barcelona, both players continually smashed a series of personal records as the year progressed.
“Fans of football everywhere, look forward to this moment every year,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.
“This year we have been lucky enough to witness so many talents.
“These awards show young players just what can be achieved through dedication and commitment.
“Crucially, these awards allow FIFA to show the spirit of fair play.”
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