It is that time of the year again when people start talking about the biggest individual award in the footballing world, The Ballon d’Or and who will get it. Since the last nine years, this coveted trophy has been shared by the likes of Argentine maestro Lionel Messi (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015) and Portuguese Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo(2008, 2013, 2014) and by the looks of it, this tug of war for the golden ball will not stop anytime soon.
Brazilian legend Kakawas the last person who won the trophy barring these two and since then a lot of players with immense calibre have been shortlisted and even been in the top three but have never been able to beat the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.The winners of the FIFA Ballon d’Or were chosen by international journalists and the coaches and captains of the national teams under FIFA’s jurisdiction.In a system based onpositional voting, each voter was allotted three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the three finalists were ordered based on thetotal number of points. Voters were provided with a shortlist of 23 players from which they could select the three players they deemed to have performed the best in the previous calendar year.
In a Season which spanned the European championships as well as all the domestic league seasons, there are plenty of players that performed on a phenomenal level at the top flight of European football.
Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been named on the 2016 Ballon d’Or award shortlist for the world’s best player.
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero also feature.
Other Premier League names on the list are West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
France, with Antoine Griezmann, Hugo Lloris, Dimitri Payet and Paul Pogba, and Argentina, with Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala, are the best-represented nations with four players each.
France Football magazine revealed the 30-man shortlist late on Monday. Here is the full list of nominees.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Pepe (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).
Despite a dip in form this season, Ronaldo, who inspired Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and Real Madrid to the Champions League crown last season, is the favourite to regain his title which will make it the fourth of his career and take him one place closer to Messi’s record of five.