Gianluigi Buffon believes Manuel Neuer would have to do something "truly exceptional" to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer was confirmed on the three-man shortlist for the award on Monday, alongside Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
The only goalkeeper to have won the award previously was Lev Yashin of Dinamo Moscow back in 1963 and veteran stopper Buffon believes Neuer's chances of repeating that feat are slim.
"For a goalkeeper to win the award today something truly exceptional has to happen," he told FIFA.com.
"Often the prize doesn't go to the best player, but to the player who has won more games, and who was most decisive in those victories.
"So perhaps a goalkeeper will win the Ballon d'Or when he helps his team become world champions by winning four games in a row on penalties and saving every spot-kick.
"That way no one can overlook him! But something really remarkable needs to happen."
Neuer enjoyed a stellar 2013-14, winning the domestic double with Bayern before helping Germany to World Cup glory in Brazil.
Even with those victories in mind, Buffon believes the award will go to Ronaldo, a crucial part of Real's UEFA Champions League-winning side last term.
"Probably Ronaldo [will win]," he said. Even if he hadn't won the UEFA Champions League, the player who is the best at a particular moment should be rewarded.
"Ronaldo - in addition to having a splendid career and maintaining a high level of performance over a long period - has done something exceptional over the last two years, and deserves the recognition."