Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has all but admitted his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or are low as he believes both Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer would be well-deserved winners.
Having already won the Ballon d'Or in 2008 and 2013, Ronaldo is the favourite to clinch the award to equal the three wins achieved by Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten, leaving him just one award behind Messi.
Even though Ronaldo failed to lead Portugal out of the group stages during the Brazil World Cup, he won both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey at Real Madrid last season, while scoring 49 goals in 47 appearances during the calendar year.
Meanwhile, Germany international Neuer won both the World Cup and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich but conceded five goals across two legs against Los Blancos during the Champions League semi-finals.
And Messi scored 45 goals and provided 21 assists during the year. But even though he reached the World Cup final with Argentina, being named player of the tournament, the Barcelona star failed to win a title with either the national team or his club.
When asked about his chances to secure his fifth Ballon d'Or, Messi said: "Being realistic, I think it will be difficult.
"We are going to enjoy the gala. Whoever wins it, deserves it. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neuer have both had fantastic years. One has won the Cup and the Champions League and scored lots of goals, the other has had a great year winning the World Cup."
Meanwhile, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, Germany's Joachim Low and Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone are nominated for coach of the year.