Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic make 30-man shortlist for 2016 Ballon d’Or

Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic make 30-man shortlist for 2016 Ballon d’Or
October 24 16:06 2016

Wales forward Gareth Bale and Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo are on the shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player.

Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne, and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic are also on the list.

France Football magazine is revealing the 30-man shortlist in bunches of five players throughout Monday.

Fifa ended its association with the award last month.

The award has been given by France Football every year since 1956, but for the past six years it became the Fifa Ballon d’Or in association with world football’s governing body.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won the award last year for a record fifth time.

The last time a player other than Messi or Ronaldo won was in 2007, when then AC Milan playmaker Kaka took the honour.

Five Premier League players – City trio Yaya Toure, Aguero and De Bruyne, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard – made a 23-man shortlist last year, with Bale the only British player on the list.

Ibrahimovic and Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba were also included last time for their performances with Juventus and Paris St-Germain.

The shortlist has traditionally been trimmed to three before the awards evening in January.

2016 Ballon d’Or shortlist

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 Levandowski (Bayern Munich).

Fifteen more players to be announced throughout Monday.

British Ballon d’Or winners
Year Player Nation Club
1956 Stanley Matthews England Blackpool
1964 Denis Law Scotland Manchester United
1966 Bobby Charlton England Manchester United
1968 George Best Northern Ireland Manchester United
1978 Kevin Keegan England Hamburg
1979 Kevin Keegan England Hamburg
2001 Michael Owen England Liverpool