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)
|Sachin's new gift! Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar gifted Sachin lyrics of her 2 hits 'Tu jahan jahan chalega' and 'Piya tose naina lage re'.|
|Rahul the best man! Sunil Gavaskar feels Rahul Dravid is the best man to replace under-fire Duncan Fletcher as India coach.|
|Royals' new skipper Shane Watson, who has not played for any other franchise, will lead the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2014.|
|Ronaldo dethrones Becks! FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has become world's wealthiest footballer with earnings of 122 million pounds.|
|Pistorius cries, vomits Oscar Pistorius cried and vomited in court when 'graphic' details of his dead girlfriend's autopsy were discussed in the trial.|