By Chineze Ogugua
Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane are among the seven Premier League players picked by France Football magazine for the Ballon D’Or awards.
Others are Manchester United’s David de Gea, Liverpool duo of Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and N’Golo Kante.
This will be Kane’s first time appearing on the list after scoring 43 goals in 37 games for club and country in 2017.
Wales’s Gareth Bale is the major absentee from the list after injuries and bad form blighted his performances this year.
As usual Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Messi and PSG’s Neymar spearheaded the list which also featured youngster Kylian Mbappe.
Messi has claimed the prize on five occasions while C.Ronaldo has clinched the awards on four occasions. The duo have dominated the awards for the past 10 years.
The Nominees are:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan/Italy), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain/Uruguay), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil), Kevin de Bruyne(Manchester City/Belgium), David de Gea (Manchester United/Spain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina), Edin Dzeko (Roma/Bosnia-Herzegovina), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany), Isco (Real Madrid/Spain), Harry Kane (Tottenham/England), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/France), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany), Robert Lewandowski(Bayern Munich/Poland), Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal), Marcelo(Real Madrid/Brazil), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain/France),Dries Mertens (Napoli/Belgium), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina) Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia), Neymar (Paris St-Germain/Brazil), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/Slovenia), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay).