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MSN, Ronaldo lead Ballon d'Or shortlist ; de Gea misses out

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MSN, Ronaldo lead Ballon d'Or shortlist ; de Gea misses out

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SportsCafe Desk


The Ballon d'Or shortlist, announced on Monday, has thrown in some big surprises by excluding Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester United's David De Gea. Meanwhile, it is expected that the trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Antoine Greizmann will make it to the podium on 9 January 2017.

The 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or for the year of 2016 has been revealed and is, as usual, dominated by forwards and midfielders but also included four goalkeepers. There have also been some good picks to include the new sensations of the past season in the form of Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy alongside West Ham United's Dmitri Payet and Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne

Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo is leading the line after winning the Champions League and Euro 2016 and will be eager to lift the individual honour by beating Lionel Messi for the fourth time. The performances of Antoine Greizmann for Atletico Madrid and the France national team should be enough to put him in the final three, while European Golden Boot winner Luis Suarez's exploits with Barcelona should also get him a place on the podium.

The list contained just three defenders in the form of Real Madrid's pair Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Atletico Madrid's Diego Godin. Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm was ignored despite helping the German club to a domestic double. While the snub of Arsenal star midfielder Mesut Ozil is surprising enough, it is difficult to fathom Manchester United's David De Gea's exclusion – his performances for the Red Devils last season should have more than offset Spain's terrible run.

While Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar, Gareth Bale and Sergio Aguero were some of the big names among the attackers in the list, they were accompanied by the likes of Juventus' Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta was accompanied by the Real Madrid's midfield duo of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos who made the cut after helping the Spanish club to their eleventh Champions League crown. Despite his poor form in recent times, Paul Pogba was shortlisted for his performances at Euro 2016 and in the Serie A for Juventus last season. 

The Ballon d'Or ceremony will take place on 09 January 2017 with the most probable venue being London.

Here is the complete list for the Ballon d'Or is:

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 (Atlético Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG/Manchester United), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Pepe (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Rui Patricio (Sporting Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)

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