Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar are Ballon d’Or finalists - Sports Illustrated

Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar named finalists for Ballon d’Or

Since 2008, either Messi or Ronaldo has won the award. Neymar has never won.
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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been named finalists for the 2015 Ballon d’Or, which honors FIFA’s best male player of the year.

Since 2008, either Messi or Ronaldo has won the award, with Ronaldo winning the past two years. Neymar has never won.​

The trio leads Europe’s top five leagues in goals this year, with Ronaldo scoring 45, Messi 44 and Neymar 41.

Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer this year, but despite playing what he called the best season of his career, Ronaldo said earlier this month he believes Messi will win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Messi has missed time with injury, but the Barcelona forward still considered a favorite to win.

Though Barcelona’s Neymar leads La Liga in scoring with 14 goals, he is considered the outlier to take home the award.

Neymar, Messi, Suarez score to help Barcelona rout Real Sociedad

The winner of the award, which is voted on by media and men’s team coaches and captains, will be announced on Jan. 11.

- Erin Flynn