The nominees for the Ballon d’Or have been announced in a staggered format and 11 of the 30 players shortlisted play in the Premier League.
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Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, N'Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard all have a chance of winning the most prestigious individual award in the game.
Lionel Messi, Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez. Luka Modric, Jan Oblak, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godin, Kylian Mbappe, Thibaut Courtois, Mario Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Antoine Griezmann have also been shortlisted, with the full list of 30 announced throughout Monday (in batches of five) by France Football.
Current Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo is aiming to win the award for a sixth time, while Messi (another five-time winner) will no doubt also be among the contenders but the likes of Griezmann, Mbappe and Modric will be the favorites.
With regards to the confirmed contenders for the award this year, over the past 12 months Aguero has become Man City’s all-time leading goalscorer and has also moved into the top 10 of the PL’s all-time goalscorers. His City teammate, De Bruyne, was pipped by Mohamed Salah to all of the top individual awards last season despite leading City to their record-breaking title.
Liverpool’s Firmino gets the nod after his 27-goal season for the Reds which saw him become a regular with the Brazilian national team, while his teammate for club and country, Alisson, is also honored for his fine displays for AS Roma at at the World Cup. Mane is also included in the shortlist, while Chelsea stars Hazard and Kante are in and Tottenham’s main man Kane is up for the award after his heroics for Spurs and England, along with Lloris.
Real Madrid had an incredible eight players shortlisted, with Ramos, Marcelo, Isco, Varane, Benzema, Modric and Bale winning the UEFA Champions League for a third-straight season, with the latter scoring twice in the final including an amazing overhead kick. Modric is among the favorites after his heroics leading Croatia to the World Cup final and already winning FIFA’s The Best award as the top player on the planet.
Barcelona had three players included, with Messi joined by Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic.
PSG’s Neymar got the nod despite his injury hit season, while Cavani’s goals led PSG to another Ligue 1 title and he also starred for Uruguay in the World Cup before getting injured. Godin was at the heart of a fine campaign for Atletico Madrid and Uruguay and his Atleti teammates Oblak and Griezmann were also included, as the latter needs no introduction after he helped France to World Cup glory. Thibaut Courtois also had a fine World Cup with the Belgium star named the best goalkeeper on the planet as sealed a move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.
Below is a list of the top 30 players on the planet.
Nominees for Ballon d’Or
Sergio Aguero (ARG / Manchester City)
Alisson (BRA / Liverpool)
Gareth Bale (WAL / Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (FRA / Real Madrid)
Edinson Cavani (URU / PSG)
Thibaut Courtois (BEL / Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR / Juventus)
Kevin De Bruyne (BEL / Manchester City)
Roberto Firmino (BRA / Liverpool)
Diego Godin (URU / Atletico Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (FRA / Atletico Madrid)
Eden Hazard (BEL / Chelsea)
Isco (ESP / Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (ENG / Tottenham)
N’Golo Kante (FRA / Chelsea)
Marcelo (BRA / Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (FRA / PSG)
Hugo Lloris (FRA / Tottenham)
Mario Mandzukic (CRO / Juventus)
Sadio Mane (SEN / Liverpool)
Paul Pogba (FRA / Manchester United)
Neymar (BRA / PSG)
Lionel Messi (ARG / Barcelona)
Luka Modric (CRO / Real Madrid)
Jan Oblak (SVK / Atletico Madrid)
Sergio Ramos (SPA / Real Madrid)
Ivan Rakitic (CROA / Barcelona)
Mohamed Salah (EGY / Liverpool)
Raphael Varane (FRA / Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (URU / Barcelona)