SAO PAULO (AP) – FIFA world player of the year nominee Neymar expects Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta to be the main contenders for the award later this year.
Brazil striker Neymar, who is among the 23 finalists picked for the Ballon d'Or award, said Thursday he is having a terrific year with Santos but doesn't expect to make the final three-player list announced by FIFA later this month.
Neymar says ''there are many great players today'' who could finish ahead of him.
The 20-year-old striker says he thinks Messi should win the best-player award because ''he is ahead of everybody else,'' with Ronaldo ''close behind.''
It's the second year in a row that Neymar made the 23-player list.
He won the Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal in 2011.