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Neuer joins Ronaldo and Messi as three Ballon d'Or finalists

The Bayern Munich goalkeeper is up against the La Liga pair for world player of the year.

Ballon d'Or

FIFA HAS NAMED the final three candidates for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

Last year, Cristiano Ronaldo ended Lionel Messi’s dominance as the world’s best player by winning the prize for the first time. The Real Madrid star is favourite to claim it for the second consecutive year after leading the La Liga club to their tenth Champions League victory last May.

The pair are joined by Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as the three finalists at the awards ceremony in Zurich on 12 January.

Messi, the only player to have won the award four times, failed to win a title this year either with Barcelona or Argentina, although he was integral in his country reaching the World Cup final where they lost 1-0 in extra-time to Germany.

He did pick up the consolation of player of the tournament.

Neuer, who was outstanding in goal for Germany and for Bayern Munich as they won the domestic double, would be only the second goalkeeper to win the award, which is announced on January 12 in Zurich, after the then Soviet Union’s Lev Yashin.

Additional reporting by - © AFP 2014

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Ben Blake

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