Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar up for 2015 Ballon d’Or
Cristiano Ronaldo faces stiff competition from Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar to hold on to the trophy that he has lifted for the past two years.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to claim the Fifa Ballon d’Or for the third year in a row, and fourth time overall, when the winner is announced at the award ceremony in Zurich on Monday afternoon.
The Portugual international enjoyed a prolific 2015, becoming Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer on October 17. However, he faces stiff competition from Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar for the prestigious accolade when the show kicks off at 18:30CET.
Messi returned to his brilliant best last year, inspiring the Catalans to an incredible treble triumph with stunning individual displays against the likes of Bayern Munich and Athletic Bilbao. And his goal against the latter in the final of the Copa del Rey also earned him a nomination for the Puskas Award, alongside Roma right-back Alessandro Florenzi and Brazilian Wendell Lira.
In addition, Messi helped Argentina reach the final of the Copa America, where they were beaten on penalties by hosts Chile.
Neymar, meanwhile, proved just as influential at Camp Nou as Messi, with the Brazil attacker netting in every game Barca played between the last eight and the final of the Champions League as he racked up 39 goals in all competitions.
The 23-year-old is bidding to break Ronaldo and Messi’s stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or, with the pair having won every trophy since it merged with Fifa’s World Player of the Year in 2010.
This year’s ceremony will be presented by actor James Nesbitt and television presenter Kate Abdo and will also see the presentation of the World Coach of the Year accolade, with Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, Barcelona’s Luis Enrique and Chile’s Jorge Sampaoli all in the running.goal.com
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