The Ballon d’Or Award shortlist for 2016 has been named yesterday and although the award no longer has links with FIFA it is still no less prestigious with a whole host of world class players now in the running to win this years edition.
The clear favourite will have to be Cristiano Ronaldo after success in both the Champions League and Euro 2016 earlier this year. His Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale will also be in the running after taking Wales to the semi finals of the European Championships.
Leicester’s fairytale year could be ended with either Riyad Mahrez or Jamie Vardy scooping the prize while Premier League representation also comes from Sergio Aguero, Hugo Lloris and Dimitri Payet.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba also make the list but will be down to their efforrts at PSG and Juventus respectively and not for the couple of months they have spent at Old Trafford
And of course that is not forgetting 5 time winner Lionel Messi who will be looking to add to his ever growing tally of awards with a 6th gold ball.
The shortlist will then be whittled down to a final three before the award is presented in January
Here is the shortlist in full
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City),
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund),
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid),
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus),
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid),
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City),
Paulo Dybala (Juventus),
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid),
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid),
Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus),
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United),
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona),
Koke (Atletico Madrid),
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid),
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich),
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur),
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City),
Lionel Messi (Barcelona),
Luka Modric (Real Madrid),
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich),
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich),
Dimitri Payet (West Ham),
Pepe (Real Madrid),
Paul Pogba (Manchester United),
Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon),
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid),
Luis Suarez (Barcelona),
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City),
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).