France Football release 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist
France Football have today announced their 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, world football's most prestigious personal accolade. Since being introduced in 1956, some of the most gifted footballers across the globe have won the coveted prize and the usual suspects have been named amongst the nominees once again.
In 2018, Luka Modric became the first player since Kaka in 2007 to break the duopoly set by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as the Croatian midfielder picked up the award for his outstanding performances for club and country.
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid for the third season running and agonizingly missed out on the World Cup, as Croatia came up short to France in the final. Despite ending up on the losing side, the veteran midfielder was awarded the Golden Ball for his outstanding individual performances in the World Cup campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the award five times apiece and the pair will be amongst the favourites once again. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is also one of the frontrunners for the award after his exploits for club and country this season.
From the 30-man shortlist, Liverpool are represented by a staggering seven players as the Merseyside club won their sixth European Cup and tallied 97 points in the league.
The 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist: Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Dusan Tadić (Ajax), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Heung-min Son (Tottenham), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), João Félix (Atletico Madrid)