It's become a bit of a reusable headline: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shortlisted for FIFA Ballon d'Or award.
And on Monday, it was published for the fifth year in a row. This time around, Messi's Brazilian Barcelona teammate Neymar joined them in the threesome of the world's best players of the past year. Which is to say that for the fifth straight year, the number three will be someone new.
Because for as good as Neymar has been in 2015, it seems predetermined that this is once again a two-horse race between Messi and Ronaldo. The majestic Messi and the regal Ronaldo. Humbleness and hubris. As fine as any players the game has ever seen. Going head-to-head again, in an indisputable golden age for the sport.
Ronaldo has won the thing the last two years. The three glitzy editions before that, Messi lifted it. In 2009, he also won both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the year – before the two prizes were combined. In 2008, Ronaldo pulled the same feat. It's 4-3 toRead More »from Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar named finalists for FIFA Ballon d'Or award