The shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or award has been announced.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 42 goals in 46 games as Real Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League last season, is hoping to win the prestigious award back-to-back in what would be his fifth Ballon d’Or and a feat that would move him level with long-time rival Lionel Messi.
Somehow, Messi’s 2016/17 campaign went a little under the radar, but he still managed to score more goals than Ronaldo – netting 54 in 52 outings. The two titans of football have dominated the individual accolades for years on end now, and the pair are once again the leading contenders for the award, which publication France Football are responsible for.
Neymar, the most expensive footballer in history after his £198 million move to PSG in the summer, has been tipped by many to end the Ronaldo-Messi run. He scored 20 times for Barcelona last season, and his eventful stint in Paris has already seen him find the net eight times. Antoine Griezmann, who finished third in the Ballon d’Or rankings last year, is once again in the frame.
Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has had an incredible 2017, boasting a brilliant tally of 43 goals in 37 appearances for club and country, and deservedly earns a place on the star-studded shortlist. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, 2016/17 PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, David De Gea and Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho are also in the mix.
Here is the list in full:
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)
Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Edinson Cavani (PSG/Uruguay)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG/France)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Isco (Real Madrid/Spain)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)
The award, which is voted by a select panel of journalists, will be announced at a ceremony in London next month.