Ballon d'Or is one of the most prestigious awards in the football world presented annually by France Football. The player who wins the award is accepted as the best footballer of the year.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were the two top runners to get this award for the past decade, but none of them winning any championships with their national teams might just pave the way for a new winner this year with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Luka Modric all being in contention for the coveted award.
There were few surprise inclusions in the top 30 list of the Ballon d'Or nominations as there were players who were out of form in the 2017-18 season. Some players were included in the list even though they could not do much at the International or World Cup level with their respective nations.
Here is the list of three players whose inclusion in the top 30 nominees list for the Ballon d'Or had the potential to surprise many.
#1. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has been the go-to striker for Real Madrid since he joined the team in 2009. Benzema was brilliant with his movements on the pitch initially when he joined the Madrid club. Scoring for fun, providing assists to his fellow striker was the main role of Benzema during those days.
It has been years since we have seen Benzema score some extraordinary goals and his poacher movement in the box which made him special in the striking zone. Benzema along with Cristiano Ronaldo were two deadly attackers any team would want, though Ronaldo became a legend himself leaving Benzema behind by 25 to 30 goals each season.
As we all know Benzema is nominated in the Top 30 of the Ballon d'Or list, many fans and pundits are surprised with this inclusion and so are we. Benzema scored just 12 goals in all competitions in the entire 2017-18 season but still managed to get into the world-class top 30 list of footballers. The Frenchman's inclusion is probably one of the biggest surprises of this season apart from Ronaldo joining Juventus.