Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi in Ballon d'Or shortlist

La Liga superstars named in shortlist for FIFA’s prestigious award

Zurich: Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Neymar were yesterday named on the shortlist for FIFA's prestigious Ballon d'Or along with double reigning title holder, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left), Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) and Barcelona's Neymar. Pic/AFP
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left), Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) and Barcelona's Neymar. Pic/AFP

While Portuguese Ronaldo has triumphed over the last two seasons (in a total of three wins), Argentinian Messi has previously claimed the coveted award four times while Brazilian Neymar makes the shortlist for FIFA's player of the year award for the first time.

Messi was the catalyst for Barcelona's impressive run to three titles last season (the Champions League, La Liga and the Spanish Cup) and will be the standout favourite ahead of Ronaldo. The Portugal international might have finished the season without a trophy, but his individual talent shone out as he was La Liga's highest scorer with 48 goals, and has notched up a leading seven in the Champions League this term.

World Cup-winning captain Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle), and Celia Sasic (FFC Frankfurt) are in the running for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

Pep, Enrique picked
Two Spanish coaches, Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola and Barcelona's Luis Enrique made the shortlist of the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football award alongside Jorge Sampaoli, the Argentinian coach who led Chile to Copa America victory.

Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique
Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique

And Jill Ellis (USA national team), Mark Sampson (English national team) and Norio Sasaki (Japanese national team) are the final trio to battle it out for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football award.

All of the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Zurich on January 11, 2016.

past Ballon d'Or winners

1956: Stanley Matthews (ENG)
1957: Alfredo Di Stefano (ESP)
1958: Raymond Kopa (FRA)
1959: Alfredo Di Stefano (ESP)
1960: Luis Suarez (ESP)
1961: Omar Sivori (ITA)
1962: Josef Masopust (CZE)
1963: Lev Yachine (USSR)
1964: Denis Law (SCO)
1965: Eusebio (POR)
1966: Bobby Charlton (ENG)
1967: Florian Albert (HUN)
1968: George Best (NIR)
1969: Gianni Rivera (ITA)
1970: Gerd Muller (GER)
1971: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1972: Franz Beckenbauer (GER)
1973: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1974: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1975: Oleg Blokhine (USSR)
1976: Franz Beckenbauer (GER)
1977: Alan Simonsen (DEN)
1978: Kevin Keegan (ENG)
1979: Kevin Keegan (ENG)
1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (GER)
1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (GER)
1982: Paolo Rossi (ITA)
1983: Michel Platini (FRA)
1984: Michel Platini (FRA)
1985: Michel Platini (FRA)
1986: Igor Belanov (USSR)
1987: Ruud Gullit (NED)
1988: Marco van Basten (NED)
1989: Marco van Basten (NED)
1990: Lothar Matthaus (GER)
1991: Jean-Pierre Papin (FRA)
1992: Marco van Basten (NED)
1993: Roberto Baggio (ITA)
1994: Hristo Stoichkov (BUL)
1995: George Weah (LBR)
1996: Matthias Sammer (GER)
1997: Ronaldo (BRA)
1998: Zinedine Zidane (FRA)
1999: Rivaldo (BRA)
2000: Luis Figo (POR)
2001: Michael Owen (ENG)
2002: Ronaldo (BRA)
2003: Pavel Nedved (CZE)
2004: Andrei Shevchenko (UKR)
2005: Ronaldinho (BRA)
2006: Fabio Cannavaro (ITA)
2007: Kaka (BRA)
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
2009: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2010: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2011: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2012: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo

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