Ahead of the announcement of the shortlist, Barca teammate Gerard Pique - one of eight Spaniards initially shortlisted - said Ronaldo was a superb player but Messi "is an alien" and would thus get his vote.
Sao Paulo: Shortlists by category announced here on Thursday for this year's Ballon d'Or, ahead of awards slated for January 7 in Zurich.
Best player - men: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Spain), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain)
Best player - women: Marta (Brazil), Aby Wambach, Alex Morgan (both United States of America)
Best men's coach: Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Pep Guardiola (ex-Barcelona), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid)
Best women's coach: Bruno Bini (France), Norio Sasaki (Japan), Pia Sundhage (Sweden)
Most beautiful goal of the year: Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid/Colombia), Miroslav Stoch (Fenerbahce/Slovakia), Neymar (Brazil/Santos)
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