Zurich - FC Bayern München and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to settle for third place in the race for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or behind triumphant Real Madrid CF forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who scooped the award for the second year running, and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Despite lifting the FIFA World Cup last summer, as well as a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double with record German champions FC Bayern, the pioneering sweeper-keeper ultimately fell short of the big prize.

Year of superlatives

Ronaldo took the accolade with 37.66 per cent of the poll, ahead of Messi (15.76%) and Neuer (15.72%), with the votes cast by 184 coaches, 184 national captains and 173 members of the global media.

Regardless of missing out on football's most celebrated individual honour, the world's undisputed No1 will look back on 2014 with fond memories, having added the World Cup Golden Glove award to his personal collection for club and country, as well as retaining his World Goalkeeper of the Year crown and being named in the FIFPro World XI for the second straight year.