The three remaining contenders for this year's FIFA World Player title are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Kaká (Brazil) and Lionel Messi (Argentina), whereas Brazilian duo Cristiane and Marta will contest the FIFA Women's World Player award with Germany's Birgit Prinz.
These two trios (each listed in alphabetical order) can now be confirmed after a poll of the coaches and captains of men's and women's national teams around the world, who cast their votes on the basis of two lists of candidates drawn up by FIFA - comprising 30 players for the men's award and 26 for the women's.
While Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, Messi and Cristiane will all be looking to claim a FIFA World Player crown at their first attempt, Marta (2006) and Birgit Prinz (2003, 2004, 2005) are familiar faces who have already won the prestigious award.
The identities of the winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards will be revealed on Monday, 17 December, when the FIFA World Player Gala is held at Zurich's world-famous opera house for the fourth consecutive year.
In addition to the customary FIFA Presidential Award and FIFA Fair Play Award, the 17th FIFA World Player Gala will also honour the best players of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 (Germany's Toni Kroos), the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 (Argentina's Sergio Agüero) and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007 (Brazil's Buru).
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS