The 2016 Ballon d’Or nominees have been shortlisted by FIFA. The list which comprises 30 best players from around the world saw only one African in it.
The Ballon d’Or, which recognises the best player in the world, released her list of 2016 Ballon d’Or nominees on Monday, the 24th of October. The nominees were chosen by France Football, the organisers of the competition.
Although the big players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luiz Suarez, Paul Pogba made the list as expected, there are still some unexpected surprises. One of them is that Gabon’s Pierre Aubemeyang is the only African that makes the list despite Andrew Ayew’s remarkable performance with Swansea City in the past season.
It is worthy to note that exactly six years today, on September 26, 2010, Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan was named among the 23 nominees for the year’s ballon d’Or award.
Real Madrid produced the highest number of players on the list with Manchester Utd following suit. Leicester City duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have continued their remarkable rise as both are shortlisted. Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne also make the list.
The Ballon d’Or award is currently held by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. The award has been shared between Messi and Ronaldo for the past eight years. From all indications, Real Madrid’s Ronaldo who held the award last in 2013 and 2014 is being considered once again the favourite for this year’s prize.
The atmosphere remains tense for all football lovers around the world in anticipation of who grabs the prestigious award this year.
Here’s the 2016 Ballon d’Or Nominees List:
- Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/Argentina)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)
- Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales)
- Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium)
- Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)
- Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid/Uruguay)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)
- Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus/Argentina)
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United/Sweden)
- Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain)
- Koke (Atletico Madrid/Spain)
- Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
- Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)
- Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City/Algeria)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)
- Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich/Germany)
- Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany)
- Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil)
- Dimitri Payet (West Ham/France)
- Pepe (Real Madrid/Portugal)
- Paul Pogba (Manchester United/France)
- Rui Patricio (Sporting/Portugal)
- Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)
- Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay)
- Jamie Vardy (Leicester City/England)
- Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/Chile)