The 30-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or was announced on Monday, with Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo headlining the list.
France Football, which adjudicates the award, has staggered the nominees throughout the day, with 15 being revealed in the afternoon on Monday and the other 15 being announced later in the day.
Ronaldo is the favourite to win the award, after his 10 goals across the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final of last season’s Champions League which led Real Madrid to an historic back-to-back triumph.
Messi has had yet another stellar season, but Barcelona’s inability to win either La Liga or the Champions League will likely go against him.
This year is likely too early for Neymar to truly contend, although he’s elevated himself to the “best of the rest” status behind Ronaldo and Messi.
Harry Kane was nominated for the prestigious award for the first time. The Tottenham striker has been the subject of a fierce debate over whether or not he can be termed “world-class”, and his inclusion in the list of the top 30 players in the world certainly strengthens his case.