ZURICH (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo will be challenging Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to retain the Ballon d'Or.
Ronaldo won the 2013 honor to end Messi's three-year run as the world's best player since FIFA and France Football merged their awards.
While Messi has broken the Champions League and Spanish league scoring records this month after winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup, the Argentina forward will end 2014 without a team honor.
Argentina lost to Germany in the World Cup final. Neuer kept a clean sheet as the Bayern Munich goalkeeper followed up winning the German league and cup by lifting football's biggest prize.
Ronaldo's World Cup campaign with Portugal ended in the group stage, but he won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup with Real Madrid.