Three players Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are among the 30 players named on the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or by France Football.
The trio were the top three in voting for Fifa’s The Best award earlier this year, with Liverpool defender van Dijk taking the prize after helping the Reds to Champions League glory.
Ronaldo and Messi currently share the record for most Ballon d’Or wins with five, and are looking to take the lead outright after winning domestic league titles with Juventus and Barcelona respectively, while Ronaldo also led Portugal to victory in the Uefa Nations League.
Van Dijk was joined by a host of his Champions League-winning teammates as Liverpool had seven players nominated, more than any other club. Front three Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all made the list, along with Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, goalkeeper Alisson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was one of two English players nominated.
The other was Raheem Sterling, who headed a six-strong contingent from domestic treble-winners Man City, including Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Spurs pair Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-Min completed the list of current Premier League players in the mix, though former Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid in the summer, was also nominated, but there was no place for England captain Harry Kane.
Source: Evening Standard