Neuer, Ronaldo and Messi make Ballon d′Or final three | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.12.2014
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Neuer, Ronaldo and Messi make Ballon d'Or final three

Manuel Neuer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have made the final shortlist for FIFA's world footballer of the year award, the Ballon d'Or. Joachim Löw has also been nominated for the coach of the year award.

Germany's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was nominated on Monday as one of the three final contenders for the world footballer of the year award, the Ballon d'Or. The 28-year-old keeper will face off against Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the prize.

Portugal and Real Madrid winger Ronaldo will be defending the 2013 title and also hoping for his third such award following 2008. Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi has already taken the prize for four years in a row.

The goalkeeper Neuer won the World Cup with Germany this year in Brazil as well as the domestic league and cup double with his Bundesliga team, Bayern Munich. The last time a German won the prize was in 1991 when Lothar Matthäus won the award.

On the women's side of the draw there's also German representation: Nadine Kessler, from Wolfsburg, will line up against Brazil's Marta and the US player Abby Wambach in the race to claim FIFA's female footballer of the year award.

Meanwhile, Germany coach Joachim Löw, Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone were selected for the coach of the year award.

The awards will be announced at the Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich on January 12, based on a ballot involving national team coaches and captains and journalists.

al/mkg (dpa, Reuters)

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