Luis Suárez Gets Curved by Ballon d’Or Shortlist While Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar Make the Cut

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This morning, we experienced our final minutes of undisturbed peace and tranquility before FIFA revealed its award finalists. While I’m not the biggest fan of these individual awards, it is important to know that the apple of everyone’s eye – the Ballon d’Or – will be awarded to one of these three legends: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, or Neymar.

It’s not even worth mentioning all of the ridiculous individual and team accolades shared between these three cracks over the course of this calendar year. You’ve no doubt already read a dozen articles listing how many goals Cristiano scored, how many trophies Barcelona won, etc. etc. Three brilliant futbolistas, three dictionary-length books worth of magic.

Just for fun, here’s a cool stat that maybe you hadn’t heard yet: apparently, Cristiano has attempted 226 shots in 2015, at least 76 more than any other player in Europe’s five big leagues. Cristiano has had arguably one of his worst years in recent memory (should he really be considered over Suárez or Lewandowski?), but he still won the Pichichi and wowed us with some special goals, among other things.

Ronaldinho recently described Neymar as a “phenomenon” capable of becoming the best player in the world. While he’s probably not there yet, his time will come. Neymar has been Barça’s second-highest scorer in every competition this year. Despite his fantastic contributions to the Catalan club’s success, I’m still feeling some kinda way about Suárez getting curved.

When it comes down to it, we all know that this award is going to Messi. There’s simply no way that it could go to anyone else. It’s inevitable. This marks the ninth consecutive year that the Barça crack has been nominated, and he’s only 28 years old. WTF.

The finalists for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year are Carli Lloyd (USA), Aya Miyama (Japan), and Celia Sasic (Germany). Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique (FC Barcelona), and Jorge Sampaoli (Chile) will battle it out for World Coach of the Year, with Jill Ellis (UAS), Mark Sampson (England), and Norio Sasaki (Japan) in the running for the women’s game. Goal of the year? Wendell Lira, Lionel Messi, and Alessandro Florenzi to my great disappointment (this was Carli Lloyd’s award to lose, IMO).