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Not you again? Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or contention



Six-time winner Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time victor, were among the 30 names revealed on Friday for the Ballon d’Or award.

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The serial favourites face competition that includes Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Karim Benzema, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante who are also considered as leading runners in the list unveiled by France Football magazine.

The prestigious award was not handed out in 2020 due to the pandemic.

There are also 20 women in the running for their own prize to be announced in Paris on November 29.

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French champions PSG can boast Messi, a winner in the Copa America this summer, and teammates Mbappe and Neymar who last season took the ambitious club to the Champions League last-four.

Italian midfielder Jorginho gets the nod after helping Chelsea to the Champions League title as well as playing a major role as Italy won the delayed Euro 2000.

Chelsea team-mate Kante, man of the match in the Champions League semi-final and final, is also on the list.

Ronaldo, who was third in the 2019 Ballon d’Or vote behind Messi and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, sees former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema also nominated.

Also in the running are Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, the top scorer in Europe with 41 goals, as well as Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland, the Champions League’s best scorer with 10 goals.

England, the Euro 2020 finalists, are represented by Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.

Among the women, 2019 winner Megan Rapinoe, whose United States team were knocked out of the Olympics in the quarter-finals, was missing from the nominations.

Christine Sinclair, of Olympic gold medal winning Canada, is in the running.

Champions League winners Barcelona are represented by Alexia Putellas, already voted UEFA’s best player, and Jennifer Hermoso, joint top-scorer in the Champions League.

BALLON D’OR – MEN

GOALKEEPERS

Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG)

DEFENDERS

Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Simon Kjær (AC Milan)

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

MIDFIELDERS

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Pedri (Barcelona)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Jorginho (Chelsea)

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

FORWARDS

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Lionel Messi (PSG)

Neymar (PSG)

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)

Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

BALLON D’OR – WOMEN

Stina Blackstenius, Kadidiatou Diani, Christiane Endler, Magdalena Eriksonn, Jessie Fleming, Pernille Harder, Jennifer Hermoso, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Ashley Lawrence, Lieke Martens, Samantha Mewis, Vivianne Miedema, Sandra Paños, Irene Paredes, Alexia Putellas, Wendie Renard, Christine Sinclair, Ellen White



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