World governing body FIFA has named Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery as the three nominations from a 10-player shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi won the prestigious award, formerly called FIFA World Player of the Year, for the past four years, while Real Madrid's Ronaldo topped the poll in 2008.
Ribery helped Bayern Munich win the Bundesliga and the Champions League last season.
Nadine Angerer Germany),Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach USA) will contest the women's award.
The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for men’s football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for women’s football awards were also announced.
In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München former coach) and Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund) for men's Coach of the Yearl, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Silvia Neid (Germany/German national team) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Swedish national team) for the corresponding women’s award.
All the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of the 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football.
In addition, the three nominees for the FIFA Puskas Award for the 'most beautiful goal of the year' were announced. They are (in alphabetical order of the goalscorers’ names): Zlatan Ibrahimovic (November 13, 2012, Sweden vs England, international friendly), Nemanja Matic (January 13, 2013, SL Benfica vs FC Porto, Liga ZON Sagres (Portugal)) and Neymar (June 15, 2013, Brazil vs Japan, FIFA Confederations Cup).
All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13, 2014 during a televised show, to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.
In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the awards ceremony.
Image: Lionel Messi