Cristiano Ronaldo is on the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award, it has been announced.
The Portuguese is joined by Barcelona striker Leo Messi and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ronaldo is the favourite for the award having taken his game to new levels this calendar year. He netted 17 goals in the Champions League last season – a record over a single campaign – as Los Blancos went all the way and lifted the trophy, ending a 12-year wait for La Decima.
The 29-year-old also helped Los Blancos to success in the Copa del Rey and European Super Cup, and has started this season in even more sensational form, netting 26 times in just 20 games to date.
Messi, who has won the award four times in the past, recently became La Liga’s all time leading goalscorer. The 27-year-old also carried his side to the World Cup final and picked up the player of the tournament award along the way.
Meanwhile, Manuel Neuer played a key role for Bayern Munich as the Bavarians won the domestic double. He then went on to lift the World Cup with Germany in the summer. Should Neuer pick up the award in January, he would be only the second goalkeeper to win it after the Soviet Union’s Lev Yashin.