FIFA Ballon d'Or
The nominees for the World Soccer Player of the Year 2013 Award stand on stage at the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich January 13, 2014 REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The three finalists for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or award were announced by FIFA on Monday. The original list of 23 players, who are considered the best players in the world, was narrowed down to three predictable picks; Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer were invited to Zurich to be in attendance for the ceremony on January 12th, 2015.

Ronaldo is the overwhelming favorite to win the Ballon d’Or again for the second consecutive year. However, 2014 saw Lionel Messi take the Argentina National team to the World Cup Finals in Brazil where his team was minutes away from perhaps winning the game on penalty kicks. Manuel Neuer is the favorite of many people recently including Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal and others who believe that the Ballon d’Or winner should come from the country that won the 2014 World Cup, in this case Germany.

For the past six years the award has either been won by Messi or Ronaldo as they have claimed a duopoly on the sport’s top individual prize. Messi won the award from 2009-2012 and Ronaldo won in 2008 and 2013. There is a 67 percent chance that one of those two will win the award again for the seventh consecutive time. Both players are also finalists for the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Both made the list as forwards and should be on the final XI when it is announced.

Manuel Neuer who won the FIFA Golden Gloves award in Brazil for the World Cup’s top goalkeeper, is looking to become just the second ever goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or. Moscow’s Lev Yashin won the award in 1963. Vote for who you want to win the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or in our poll below:

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