22.10.2021

Neymar and N’Golo Kante on Ballon d’Or shortlist

Ballon d’Or organisers France Football have released the first 20 names to be included on the shortlist and Neymar is joined by Premier League stars Kane, De Bruyne, Mane, Coutinho, N’Golo Kante and David De Gea.

Harry Kane, Neymar, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho are among the first 20 players on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for the 2017 award.

Tottenham’s Kane has gained recognition for a 2016-17 season in which he won his second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot award.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane is among the 30 players named on the Ballon d’Or shortlist

Philippe Coutinho’s form for Liverpool attracted a £138m offer from Barcelona this summer

The England striker is currently enjoying a rich vein of form and his winner against Lithuania on Sunday night was his 15th strike in his last ten matches for club and country.

Neymar’s £198million move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona this summer was reportedly partly motivated by a desire to claim the award after finishing fifth in the 2016 voting.

And the 25-year-old has settled in to life at the Parc des Princes quickly with eight goals in his opening eight matches in all competitions.

BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST SO FAR

Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain

N’Golo Kante – Chelsea

Luka Modric – Real Madrid

Paulo Dybala – Juventus

Marcelo – Real Madrid

Edin Dzeko – Roma

Harry Kane – Tottenham

David De Gea – Manchester United

Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

Luis Suarez – Barcelona

Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid

Dries Mertens – Napoli

Radamel Falcao – Monaco

Sadio Mane – Liverpool

Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus

Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid

Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

Kante was the first Premier League star to be announced following a 2016-17 campaign which saw the midfielder scoop PFA Players’ Player of the Year honours as Chelsea won the title.

He is joined by Brazilian star Coutinho, whose outstanding form for Liverpool last season attracted bids worth £138m from Barcelona in the summer.

Coutinho’s club team-mate Mane has also been recognised with a spot on the 30-man shortlist after an impressive first campaign at Anfield which saw him net 13 goals from midfield.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea makes the list after missing out in 2016 and Man City’s Belgian midfielder De Bruyne has also been named.

De Bruyne has followed on from a strong 2016-17 campaign with City by beginning this season in top form – scoring the winner against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out.

Neymar has been named on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist following his move to PSG

N’Golo Kante is on the shortlist after playing a key role in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign

Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Marcelo are all included after playing pivotal roles for Real Madrid as they claimed a Champions League and La Liga double in 2016-17.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, who came fourth in 2016 voting, is present while Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has been named on the 30-man shortlist for the first time in his career.

Oblak’s Atletico team-mate Antoine Griezmann is there once again after finishing third in voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi last season.

And Serie A quartet Paulo Dybala, Dries Mertens, Edin Dzeko and Gianluigi Buffon also make the shortlist.

Dybala enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for Juventus as they stormed to the league title while Mertens netted 34 goals playing as a makeshift No 9 for Napoli.

Dzeko continues to enjoy a renaissance at Roma – the Bosnian target man scored 39 times in 51 appearances in his second season in the Italian capital.

Buffon is once again in the running to become the first goalkeeper to win the award since Lev Yashin in 1963. The 39-year-old Juventus stopper came closest in 2006 when he finished second in voting behind Fabio Cannavaro.

Another striker who enjoyed a comeback campaign, Radamel Falcao, is among the nominees. The Colombian led the line for free-scoring Monaco as they stormed to the French league title and qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Kevin De Bruyne scored a stunning winner for Manchester City against Chelsea last time out

Goalkeeper David De Gea has been included after missing out on the 30-man shortlist last year

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is included. The Polish striker mocked the Ballon d’Or voting system after finishing 16th last year.

Ronaldo remains the heavy favourite to defend his 2016 crown. He clinched last year’s title ahead of Messi and Griezmann and is expected to be among the names announced later in the day.

If Ronaldo wins this year he would equal Messi’s haul of five Ballon d’Ors. The rivals have shared the last nine awards between them since Ronaldo claimed his first in 2008 as a Manchester United player.

The remaining 20 names on the shortlist will be announced at intervals throughout Monday with the full shortlist set to be revealed by 6.15pm.

Real Madrid trio Sergio Ramos (left), Marcelo (centre) and Luka Modric (right) are on the list

Luis Suarez of Barcelona and Uruguay makes the list after finishing fourth in the 2016 voting

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