ZURICH: Cristiano Ronaldo will be favourite to depose Leo Messi as FIFA World Player of the Year at the awards gala in Zurich on January 13.
The Real Madrid and Barcelona stars have been nominated for the top prize along with French forward Franck Ribery of European champions Bayern Munich.
The women’s award will be contested by Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (United States).
The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards have also been announced.
Men’s coach: Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/ Bayern München) and Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund).
Women’s football coach award: Ralf Kellermann (Germany/ Wolfsburg), Silvia Neid (Germany) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden).
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 selected international media representatives.
The voting procedure for each of the awards is supervised and monitored by the independent observer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.
The shortlist of 15 forwards for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced, completing the final shortlist of 55 players also featuring five goalkeepers, 20 defenders and 15 midfielders.
The forward shortlist is (home country, club):
Sergio Agüero (Argentina, Manchester City FC); Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City FC/AC Milan); Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, SSC Napoli/Paris Saint-Germain FC); Diego Costa (Spain, Club Atlético de Madrid); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid CF); Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire, Shanghai Shenhua FC/Galatasaray SK); Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Club Atlético de Madrid/AS Monaco FC); Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain FC); Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Borussia Dortmund); Mario Mandžukić (Croatia, FC Bayern München); Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona); Neymar (Brazil, Santos FC/FC Barcelona); Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United FC); Luis Suárez (Uruguay, Liverpool FC); Robin van Persie (Netherlands, Manchester United FC).
In addition, the three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award for the “most beautiful goal of the year” were announced. They are (in alphabetical order of the goalscorers’ names): Zlatan Ibrahimović (13 November 2012, Sweden v. England, international friendly), Nemanja Matić (13 January 2013, SL Benfica v. FC Porto, Liga ZON Sagres (Portugal)) and Neymar (15 June 2013, Brazil v. Japan, FIFA Confederations Cup).
In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the award ceremony.
See the full list on FIFA.com: http://www.fifa.com/ballondor/world11/index.html