New Delhi: The nominees for the much awaited Ballon d’Or was announced on Monday, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the 30-men shortlist chart. The list was chosen by a bench of journalist. For the second successive season the chart contained seven Real Madrid footballers on the run, pointing to the quality the Los Blancos possess in their line-up.
Cristiano Ronlado who is aiming for a fifth award this year is the hot favorite to win, having won the La Liga and the Champions League with Real Madrid this season. The Portuguese talisman however faces tough competition from five times winner Lionel Messi who despite a not so good performance last season ( according to his standard ), has started with a bang this time and has already scored 14 goals in all competitions. Neymar Jr who finished third in 2015 and Antoine Griezmann who finished third in 2016 among others are the top names in the list.
The Ballon d’Or is an annual association football award presented by France Football. Existing since 1856, it was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2010 and came to be known as FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, the tie-up lasted only for six years and from 2016 Ballon d’Or became a single body again.
However, Neymar Jr who became a Paris Saint -Germain player for a record fee this season, has been nominated in the 30 men shortlist for his performance with Barcelona in the previous season, in which his Man of the Match against PSG in the Champions League was among the notable performance. Similarly, Kylian Mbappe another player bought on loan by PSG has been nominated for his notable performance with Moncao, where he helped Les Monégasques win the Ligue 1 after a gap of 16 years, while also leading the team to CL semi-finals.
Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus, David de Gea of Manchester United and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid represents the goalkeepers in the list. While, N’Golo Kante, Philippe Coutinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Harry Kane, Sadio Mane and Eden Hazard are the names included from English Premier League.
The Ballon d’Or ceremony is set to held later this month in London reported Mirror, where the winners will be announced.
Here is the complete list of nominees:
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)
Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/France)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/Slovenia)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil)
Dries Mertens (Napoli/Belgium)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
David De Gea (Manchester United/Spain)
Harry Kane (Tottenham/England)
Edin Dzeko (Roma/Bosnia)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)
Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain/Uruguay)
Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
Isco (Real Madrid/Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (Monaco/Paris Saint-Germain/France)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)