Embattled Cristiano Ronaldo has been listed by popular magazine, France Football, in its 30-man shortlist of Ballon d’Or nominees. The winner will be announced in Paris on December 3.
Ronaldo, who is currently embroiled in allegation of rape charge by American model, Kathryn Mayorga, has along with his major rival, Lionel Messi dominated the last 10 editions of the award which has been split evenly between them.
But this year, with Luka Modric recently honoured at the FIFA Best Awards, this could be the year that sees a changing of the guard.
The Ballon d’Or has a complicated heritage. Between 2010 and 2015, it was unified with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award to form one award, the FIFA Ballon d’Or. FIFA ended that association in 2016 to form the Best Awards.
However, the history of the Ballon d’Or means that it is still regarded as the most prestigious individual award a footballer can receive.
Cristiano Ronaldo is in contention to win a third consecutive Ballon d’Or as he was named among the nominees (revealed via France Football’s Twitter), but long-time rival Messi and former teammate Modric will run him close.
Also included were Real Madrid pair Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, who both scored in the Champions League final victory over Liverpool in May. The European champions are the best represented team with eight nominees including Marcelo, Isco and Sergio Ramos.
English champions Manchester City are represented by Sergio Aguero, who became the first player ever to reach 200 goals for the club earlier this year, and Kevin De Bruyne, who won the Playmaker Award for the most assists in the Premier League last season.
Liverpool are the best represented Premier League team with four nominees. Forward trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, who scored 91 goals between them last season, are on this list, as is Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.
The Chelsea pair of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante have been named among the 30 as well, with Paul Pogba the only Manchester United player to make the list. Hugo Lloris is nominated, and so is his Tottenham teammate Harry Kane, who became the first Englishman to win the World Cup golden boot since 1986.
Here is the full list of nominees.
|Sergio Aguero||Argentina||Manchester City|
|Gareth Bale||Wales||Real Madrid|
|Karim Benzema||France||Real Madrid|
|Edinson Cavani||Uruguay||Paris Saint-Germain|
|Thibaut Courtois||Belgium||Real Madrid|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Belgium||Manchester City|
|Diego Godin||Uruguay||Atletico Madrid|
|Antoine Griezmann||France||Atletico Madrid|
|Kylian Mbappe||France||Paris Saint-Germain|
|Luka Modric||Croatia||Real Madrid|
|Jan Oblak||Slovenia||Atletico Madrid|
|Paul Pogba||France||Manchester United|
|Sergio Ramos||Spain||Real Madrid|
|Raphael Varane||France||Real Madrid|