Seven of the candidates announced by FIFA on Friday play for finalists Argentina and Germany. Messi is nominated along with Argentina teammates Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano. Germany provides four candidates: Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller.
Neymar is the only candidate from Brazil among the players selected by FIFA's technical study group of coaching analysts.
Arjen Robben of the Netherlands and James Rodriquez of Colombia, the tournament's top scorer with six goals, complete the list.
The winner is selected by the FIFA technical group and announced after the final.
Both goalkeepers in the final are on a three-man shortlist to be named best of the tournament.
The candidates for best young player are Memphis Depay of the Netherlands, and France pair Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane. Nominees for that award must have been born since Jan. 1, 1993.