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Ballon d'Or favourite Cristiano Ronaldo trailing Riyad Mahrez and Lionel Messi in France Football poll

Riyad Mahrez is surprisingly heading the poll at the moment

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Will Cristiano Ronaldo claim the game’s top individual prize this year?

France Football are holding a poll on their website to see who football fans think deserve the Ballon d'Or for the year 2016 and the initial results are quite surprising. While many consider Cristiano Ronaldo to be the standout favourite to claim the top prize, he is currently trailing his great rival Lionel Messi and surprisingly Algerian star Riyad Mahrez.

They recently announced the final 30 man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or with some surprising inclusions and exclusions. Ronaldo, Messi and Griezmann were the supposed frontrunners for the award, but the voting shows Riyad Mahrez well ahead of both Messi and Ronaldo garnering an astonishing 39% of the 1,816,409 votes.

Also read: 5 players who do not deserve to be on the 30 man Ballon d'Or shortlist

Lionel Messi is second with 26% votes while Ronaldo is third with 20%. Antoine Griezmann is nowhere near the top having got only 1% of the total votes. Surprisingly after Mahrez, Messi and Ronaldo, Rui Patricio comes next with 4%.

The new rules announced by France Football mean that the competition has reverted to how it used to be before the FIFA merger. The Ballon d’Or shortlist was expanded to 30 players from 23, and the top three players with the most votes will not be announced before the presentation of the award. The voting process for the award will no longer include coaches and captains of national teams as it did under the FIFA rules, and the voting will be done by a select group of journalists, as it used to be.

Also read: 5 players who deserved to be on the 30 man Ballon d'Or shortlist

With the old rules now reinstated and the award reverting to its old format, it may signal the end of an era. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shared the Ballon d’Or between themselves over the last nine years as though it was their birthright, but if the initial fan polls are anything to go by, we might see the end of an era.

Here is the full 30 man shortlist with the votes they have received so far in the poll conducted by France Football:

0% Sergio Agüero

0% Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

1% Gareth Bale

2% Gianluigi Buffon

20% Cristiano Ronaldo

0% Kevin De Bruyne

0% Paulo Dybala

0% Diego Godin

1% Antoine Griezmann

0% Gonzalo Higuain

0% Zlatan Ibrahimovic

0% Andrés Iniesta

0% Koke

0% Toni Kroos

1% Robert Lewandowski

1% Hugo Lloris

39% Riyad Mahrez

26% Lionel Messi

0% Luka Modric

0% Thomas Müller

0% Manuel Neuer

1% Neymar

0% Dimitri Payet

0% Pepe

0% Paul Pogba

4% Rui Patricio

0% Sergio Ramos

0% Luis Suarez

0% Jamie Vardy

1% Arturo Vidal

3% NSP 

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