Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Gareth Bale headline a 30-man shortlist for the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or award. The names of the shortlisted players were published on Monday by France Football.
Messi and Ronaldo have won the last eight Ballon d’Or awards that were given out and this year, the award returns to being organised solely by France Football, ending a six-year association between the French magazine and world football governing body FIFA.
Other players who are also nominated for the award include: Leicester duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos, sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Antoine Griezmann, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
2016 Ballon d’Or 30-Man Shortlist:
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 (Atlético Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus),Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG/Manchester United) Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris(Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Pepe (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Rui Patricio (Sporting Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).
A final three-man shortlist will be announced in December 2016 after the voting process has been completed.
Written by Damilola Okejide