Bale, Neymar and Robben all nominated, but can anyone take Messi's crown?
FIFA has unveiled its 23-man shortlist for the prestigious World Player of the Year award.
The Bundesliga is the most represented league in the shorlist, with no less than seven players included, six of whom play for treble winners Bayern Munich. Six nominees come from La Liga - including transfer record-breaker Gareth Bale - while Serie A has just one player featured, the lowest of the 'big five' European leagues.
Five Premier League players make the cut, but there are no English players included for the first time since 2010.
The FIFA Ballon d'Or (and its predecessor) has been won for the last four years by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. The 2013 winner will be announced on 13 Jan, 2014, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Click through to see the nominees' profile and our assessment