Cristiano Ronaldo will be the favorite to retain his Ballon d'Or as he was named to the 30-man shortlist alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski. Ronaldo, who beat Messi and Griezmann to the award last year, helped Real Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup. He scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals, and was one of the final names revealed by award organizers France Football on Monday.
Ronaldo is set to face competition competition from long-time rival Messi, who finished up as La Liga's top scorer with 37 goals -- 12 ahead of Ronaldo -- and helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey success in what was a largely disappointing season for the club. Spain's La Liga leads all leagues with 11 nominees, followed by the Premier League with seven, Serie A with five, Ligue 1 with four and the Bundesliga with three. PSG are the only other club with at least three, with Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, and Liverpool all have two players on the list. France lead all countries with four players, ahead of Belgium, Brazil, and Spain with three each.
Ballon d'Or 2017 nominees:
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), David De Gea (Manchester United), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Isco (Real Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Neymar (PSG), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)