A 23-man shortlist for the Fifa Ballon d’Or was compiled by the Fifa Football Committee and a group of experts from France Football, which was announced on 29 October.
The organisation then reduced the original list to just three remaining candidates in the second week of December: Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The winner of the award will be revealed at the Fifa Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 13 January 2014.
Ribery was arguably the most successful of the three as he guided Bayern Munich to a historic treble in 2013, only to then go on and win the European Supercup and help France qualify for next year’s World Cup.
Ronaldo endured a rare trophyless season, but that didn’t stop the Portugal international from shining individually as he banged in the goals in all competitions, helping Portugal to the World Cup with a sensational hat-trick against Sweden.
Messi enjoyed yet another impressive season with Barcelona as his goals helped the Catalans to the Liga title and the Spanish Supercup. The Argentine might have missed the last few months of the year due to injury, but had a fine 2013 nonetheless.
Aside from the Fifa Ballon d’Or, a number of other awards will be presented; Fifa Men’s Football Coach of the Year, Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year, Fifa Women’s Football Coach of the Year, Fifa Presidential Award, Fifa Fair Play Award and the Fifa Puskas Award.
The battle for the Coach of the Year award is between Jupp Heynckes, Jurgen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson, with the former two guiding their respective teams to the Champions League final and the latter winning the Premier League with Manchester United in his final year before retirement.
Nadine Angerer, Marta and Abby Wambach are the three candidates to win the Women’s World Player of the Year award with the Brazilian having already lifted the trophy on five previous occasions.
Sweden’s Pia Sundhage, Germany boss Silvia Neid and Wolfsburg coach Ralf Kellermann are battling it out for the Women’s Football Coach of the Year trophy.
Finally, stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nemanja Matic and Neymar are in the running for the Fifa Puskas Award for the best goal of 2013, while the Fifa/FIFPro World XI will also be announced.
The new version of the prize started in 2010 after France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s Fifa World Player of the Year award were merged.