Today, FIFA announced the final 3 for the big prize, trimmed from an initial 23-man list, and Messi has a chance to win his 5th Ballon d'Or (formerly FIFA World Player of the Year award).
Ronaldo, 29, has scored 51 goals in the 2013-14 season and his remarkable form helped his club Real Madrid win the Champions League.
German goalkeeper Neuer, 28, won the World Cup this year in Brazil. He is the first goalkeeper since compatriot Oliver Khan to make the final 3 shortlist of the award.
This award and other honours will be presented at a ceremony in Zurich on 12 January 2015. Also, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will be revealed during the award ceremony.
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 voted for candidates, FIFA said.
The final nominees for various FIFA awards
FIFA Ballon d'Or - Men
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina)
- Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Women's World Player of the Year
- Nadine Kessler (Germany)
- Marta (Brazil)
- Abby Wambach (USA)
FIFA World Coach of the Year - Men
- Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF)
- Joachim Loew (Germany/German national team)
- Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico de Madrid)
FIFA World Coach of the Year - Women
- Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg)
- Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-19 and U-20 national teams)
- Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team)
FIFA Puskas Award for the "most beautiful goal of the year"
- Stephanie Roche - 20 October 2013, Peamount United Vs Wexford Youths, BEWNL (Ireland Republic)
- James Rodriguez - 28 June 2014, Colombia Vs Uruguay, 2014 FIFA World Cup
- Robin van Persie - 13 June 2014, Spain Vs Netherlands, 2014 FIFA World Cup
Previous 5 Ballon d'Or winners
- 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid)
- 2012: Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)
- 2011: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- 2010: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- 2009: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)