The Ballon d'Or nominees for 2021 were announced recently by the French sports magazine France Football. The list comprised of the top 30 players shortlisted for the prestigious award.
While some of the names were very much expected, there were a few surprises. Some of the players were nominated for the Ballon d'Or for the very first time in their career.
Ballon d'Or nominees have high market values
As expected, there are some big names present in the Ballon d'Or nominees list. With big names comes higher market values and it is the same story here.
The 30-man shortlist can easily make up for one of the finest starting XI in the game. Based on the market value of the individual players, we have drawn out the top XI from the Ballon d'Or nominee list. The lineup itself would have a combined market value of €694.5 million. Using the 3-5-2 formation, let's have a look at the most valuable XI from the Ballon d'Or shortlist.
Note: All values as per Transfermarkt
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (€65 million)
The year 2021 has turned out to be fabulous for Gianluigi Donnarumma. The young goalkeeper played an instrumental role in helping the Italian national team win Euro 2020. His performances in both the semi-finals and finals were crucial in clinching the European trophy. Donnarumma was also voted as the player of the tournament at Euro 2020.
Additionally, he was amazing when playing for AC Milan before signing for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on a free transfer this summer. Donnarumma has earned a lot of plaudits at the age of 22 and he's touted to achieve more success with time. Valued at €65 million, there is no competition for the former Milan goalkeeper here.
Centre-Back: Giorgio Chiellini (€1.5 million)
Not many defenders have performed as consistently as Giorgio Chiellini in his football career. The Italian defender has been sturdy as a rock at the back, marshaling his troops for both club and country.
Chiellini used all his experience and technical abilities to help Italy win the Euro 2020 this summer. He also won the Coppa Italia with Juventus last season. Everything considered, the defender would bring a lot of stability to this lineup despite being valued at €1.5 million.
Centre-Back: Leonardo Bonucci (€8 million)
The partnership between Giorgino Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci has done wonders over the years. The duo have been playing together for both Juventus and Italy for a considerable amount of time now.
Bonucci, along with his smart and aggressive defending, is quite a threat during set-pieces. The former AC Milan defender played a vital role in rallying defensive troops to claim the Euro 2020 trophy this summer. The 34-year old has only gotten better with age and it is only just to have the veteran defender in this lineup.
Centre-Back: Ruben Dias (€75 million)
The Portuguese centre-back has been a revelation for Manchester City ever since he signed for them in the summer of 2020. Ruben Dias was their star player last season, helping them immensely win the Premier League.
The former Benfica defender is strong and calm at the back. His smart positioning, timely tackles and tactical understanding of the game has been a delight to watch.
Dias also ended up as the winner of the EFL Cup last season and the runner-up in the UEFA Champions League. There is no way that 24-year will miss out on a place in this lineup. The centre-back was also the FWA Footballer of the Year and 'Premier League Player of the Season' last term.
Had the Portuguese had a good run at Euro 2020, he would have been a strong contender for the Ballon d'Or.