Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Lionel Messi Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi go head to head again for the FIFA Ballon d'Or titleReuters

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi – Manuel Neuer will be the latest name to try and break that duopoly as the Ballon d'Or for the FIFA World Player of the Year is ready to be announced on Monday in Zurich.

Many have tried and not succeeded in trying to topple the Real Madrid and Barcelona superstars over the last six years, and while Neuer more than deserves his name in the three-man shortlist, most of the money will be on Ronaldo or Messi to win yet another Ballon d'Or, particularly the Portuguese, who had a stellar 2014.

Ronaldo was the catalyst in Real Madrid's title win in the Copa Del Rey and, more importantly, the Champions League, where the Spanish giants finally completed that La Decima.

Goals, of course, flowed easier than water from a tap for Ronaldo in 2014, and after winning the coveted award last year, he will go into the ceremony this year as the favourite as well.

The only thing that will go against Ronaldo is the fact that he did not have the greatest of World Cups, with Portugal knocked out in Brazil in the group stages.

Messi's Argentina did not have such problems, as the Barcelona talisman led his country all the way to the final, where they went down to Germany.

Year 2014 was not the greatest – it would have been an unbelievable year for a mere mortal, but not for Messi – personally for the great man, but winning the player of the tournament award for the World Cup, albeit controversially, would have enhanced his chances of walking away with the title.

Messi, though, did fade rather badly from the knockout stage onwards in the World Cup, after a blistering start, and that, along with the fact that Barcelona did not win a major title in 2014, will probably be considered when it would have come to the voting from the players, coaches and the media.

Manuel Neuer Germany
Manuel Neuer is the third man on the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'OrReuters

The final player on the list – Neuer – is probably the neutral's favourite for the title. Ronaldo and Messi, deservedly yes, winning the title year after year has grown a little old, and giving the Ballon d'Or to Neuer will be a refreshing change.

Neuer has been a near impenetrable wall for both club and country and was key in Germany's run to the World Cup title in Brazil.

He is undoubtedly the best goalkeeper in the world, and a Ballon d'Or victory would be a perfect way to cap off what has been a stellar year for the imposing Bayern Munich goalkeeper.

Had Neuer won the Champions League as well with Bayern last season, instead of 2013, then there, probably would have been no doubt of his victory – but as long as Ronaldo and Messi stay in the peak of their powers, those two will remain the cynosure.

The Women's Player of the Year title will also be given out with Nadine Kessler, Marta and Abby Wambach fighting it out for the prize.

Where to Watch Live

Get the Awards List, Results and Report HERE

The gala function will begin at 6.30 pm CET (11 pm IST, 5.30 pm GMT, 12.30 pm ET) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. The Ballon d'Or can also be watched via live streaming online in India on Viewers around the world can catch the award function live on

Viewers in the UK can watch all the action unfold on Sky Sports 5 and Eurosport UK. Viewers can also catch the function via a live stream on Sky Go. Audience in Europe can watch the FIFA Ballon d'Or on Eurosport or live online on Eurosport Player.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or live coverage in the US will be on Fox Sports while the awards can be live streamed on FoxSoccer2Go. Audience in Africa can watch the action on SuperSport or SuperSport online.

Awards List: FIFA Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany).

FIFA Women's Player of the Year: Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Abby Wambach (USA).

Men's World Coach of the Year: Carlo Ancelotti (Rea Madrid), Joachim Low (Germany), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid.

Women's World Coach of the Year: Ralf Kellerman (Germany), Maren Meinert (Germany), Norio Sasaki (Japan).

Puskas Award: Stephanie Roche, James Rodriguez, Robin Van Persie.

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