By James Agberebi:
Current holder Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Argentina and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil’s Neymar are among a 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or.
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football magazine. It has been awarded since 1956 and later merged with Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) before the partnership ended in 2016.
The list of nominees was released on Monday on France Football’s verified Twitter handle.
Chelsea duo Eden Hazard (Belgium) and N’Golo Kante (France), Harry Kane of England and Tottenham Hotspur; Manchester City and Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne, and Brazil, Spain and Manchester United shot stopper David De Gea and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho all made the shortlist.
Other stars who made the list include Luiz Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay), Edinson Cavani (PSG/Uruguay), Juventus and Italy legendary keeper Gianluigi Buffon and Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann.
Meanwhile, Africa is also represented as Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Gabon and Borussia Dortmund’s striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also make the list.
Argentina star Messi holds the record for the highest number of Ballon d’Or with five titles, while Ronaldo has four.
The winner of the 2017 Ballon d’Or will be revealed on December 6, 2017.
30 Nominees For the 2017 Ballon d’Or:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)
Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/France)
Luiz 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 Hotspur/England)
Edin Dzeko (AS Roma/Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)
Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco/Colombia)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund/Gabon)
Edinson Cavani (PSG/Uruguay)
Matt Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG/France)
Isco (Real Madrid/Spain)
Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan/Italy)