Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi along with seven Liverpool players are among the players that make the 30- man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
The seven Liverpool players are: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alisson.
Manchester City follow Liverpool with five players on the list, namely: Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Tottenham has two players: Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min on the list. However, Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar misses out along with Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba as well as Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane.
Aside Messi, Barcelona also have four players on the list. They are: Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Antoine Griezmann. Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Real Madrid’s former Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard also feature on the list.
The Ballon d’Or winner will be named in Paris on 2nd December. Recall that Luka Modric won the award in 2018 to end its seven-year dominance by Messi and Ronaldo. Liverpool’s defender, Van Dijk is among the favourites to win this year’s award after being named Uefa Player of the Year in August.
According to BBC, a version of the Ballon d’Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956, but was merged with Fifa’s World Footballer of the Year award from 2010 to 2015. However, Fifa ended its association with the Ballon d’Or the following year to set up its own – the Best Fifa Player award.
In September, Messi won that award in the fourth edition of the Best Fifa Football Awards. Meanwhile, Uefa’s Player of the Year award has been going since 1998 and was previously called Uefa Club Footballer of the Year (1998-2010) and Uefa Best Player in Europe (2011-16).
Four Premier League-based keepers are in the running for the Yashin Award. They are Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson of Manchester City, Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga and Tottenham’s Lloris.
Also nominated are Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Ajax’s Andre Onana, Juventus’ Wojciech Szczesny and Ter Stegen of Barcelona.
For players under the age of 21, the Kopa Trophy is the award for the best performing player and it is selected by former Ballon d’Or winners. The award is open to those who play outside Europe and was first awarded in 2018, with Paris St-Germain and France World Cup-winning forward Kylian Mbappe the clear winner.
Among the nominees for this year’s award is Villarreal and Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze (20) alongside Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho, 19, Everton and Italy forward Moise Kean, 19, and Arsenal’s French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, 20.
Others in the running are Juventus’ Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, 20, Real Madrid’s Brazil forward Vinicius Junior, 19, Valladolid and Ukraine keeper Andriy Lunin, 20, Bayer Leverkusen and Germany midfielder Kai Havertz, 20, Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix, 19, , and Valencia and South Korea forward Lee Kang-in, 18.
Below is the list of nominees for the main award:
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Dusan Tadic (Ajax)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Donny van de Beek (Ajax)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)
Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Marquinhos (Paris St-Germain)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)