- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina)
- Manuel Neuer (Germany)
In fact, the winner will be assured to be hammered with debate & controversy. FIFA President Blatter & UEFA President have already publicly said that they feel a German (a World Cup Winner) should be given the prize this year, obviously citing Neuer. But if the criteria is the "Best Player" for a whole session - 2014 - then Cristiano Ronaldo is on another level to both Neuer & Messi. Let me remind you that back in 2010 Spain won the World Cup, & with the current arguments of Blatter & Platini, the winner then should have been Andres Iniesta (or Iker Casillas). It was Messi which was indeed very surprising to everyone at that time & caused plenty of debate.
As Franck Ribery said recently, the Golden Ball Award has become more political award full of economic interests which sways the vote & points to the eventual winner.
In any case, the official winning name will be handed in & announced the 12th of January 2015.