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Ballon d'Or

France Football prepares 3 different Ballon d’Or covers

France Football magazine has prepared three possible front covers ahead of today’s 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich which is scheduled to begin at 20:00 CET (2:00pm EST).

Each cover features the three nominees for World Player of the Year: Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

Of course only one of the three magazine covers will make it to the streets tomorrow.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the bookie’s favorite to win his third Ballon d’Or award at 2/9 odds with Neuer at 5/1 and Messi as the surprise outsider at 40/1.

Manuel Neuer is attempting win his first trophy while becoming only the second goalkeeper in 58 years to win the award – Russian Lev Yashin was chosen as the winner in 1963.

Should Messi win the honor, it would be the Argentinian’s fifth Ballon d’Or trophy.

Ronaldo won last year’s award by beating out Messi and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.

Other awards to be presented today include: Women’s World Player of the Year, Men’s World Coach of the Year, Women’s World Coach of the Year, FIFA FIFPro World XI, Fair Play Award, Presidential Award and the Puskás Award (Goal of the Year).

The finalists are:

Women’s World Player of the Year: Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler, Brazil forward Marta, USA forward Abby Wambach.

Men’s World Coach of the Year: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, Germany national team coach Joachim Loew, and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.

Women’s World Coach of the Year: VfL Wolfsburg’s Ralf Kellermann, Germany U-20 national team coach Maren Meinert, Japan national team coach Norio Sasaki.

Puskás Award: Peamont United forward Stephanie Roche, Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez and Holland forward Robin van Persie.

Watch the build up and presentation of the awards on the FIFA Ballon d’Or website – or just click here.

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