First came the long-longlist, then came the short-longlist, then the long-shortlist and now FIFA have finally seen fit to furnish us with the final shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award and there are no prizes for guessing the three names on the list.
As expected, we’re looking at Lionel Messi + Cristiano Ronaldo + A. N. Other, with Neymar making up the numbers this year…
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 30, 2015
We’ve got a hunch it’ll end up on Cristiano’s mantelpiece again this year, but all three would be perfectly worthy winners.
As for the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award, US World Cup hero Carli Lloyd is the favourite to take the honours, though she’ll face stiff competition from Japan’s Aya Miyama and Germany’s Celia Sasic.
The Men’s World Coach of the Year award will be contested by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Chile’s Copa America-winning head coach Jorge Sampaoli.
England women’s manager Mark Sampson is one of the three nominees for FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year after taking bronze with the Lionnesses at the World Cup in Canada. He’s up against Japan coach Norio Sasaki and the boss of the eventual tournament winners, USWNT coach Jill Ellis.
Last but by no means least, the Puskas Award for goal of the year has been whittled down to these three stunners.
As always, all the trinkets will be doled out at the Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich in early January.