Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo the favourite to retain crown

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar head the list of the 30 Ballon d'or nominees announced by France Football on Monday.

Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and Buffon are among the 30 Ballon d'Or nominees.   -  Getty Images/Bongarts

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were among the standout names on the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d'Or released by France Football on Monday.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo and his Barcelona rival Messi have shared the past nine awards, the latter becoming the first man to win it on five occasions in 2015.

The Portugal captain is expected to draw level with Messi, having helped Real Madrid win La-Liga and become the first side to successfully defend the Champions League in its modern guise.

Ronaldo is joined by six of his Madrid team-mates, making the European champion the best-represented club in the nominees.

La-Liga accounts for more than a third of the short-list with 11 of the players plying their trade in Spain's top flight. The Premier League is next (7), followed by Serie A (5), Ligue 1 (4) and the Bundesliga (3).

It will be difficult for anyone to topple Ronaldo, but should it occur the man to depose him will be one of the individuals listed with the 32-year-old below.

 

Nominees

PLAYER

TEAMS

NeymarPSG & Brazil
Luka ModricReal Madrid & Croatia
Paulo DybalaJuventus & Argentina
MarceloReal Madrid & Brazil
N'Golo KanteChelsea & France
Luis SuarezFC Barcelona & Uruguay
Sergio RamosReal Madrid & Spain
Jan OblakAtletico Madrid & Slovenia
Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool FC & Brazil
Dries MortensSSC Naploli & Belgium
Kevin De BruyneManchester City & Belgium
Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich & Poland
David De GeaManchester United & Spain
Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur & England
Eden DzekoAS Roma & Bosnia and Herzegovina
Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid and France
Toni KroosReal Madrid and Germany
Gianluigi BuffonJuventus and Italy
Sadio ManeLiverpool and Senegal
Radamel FalcaoAS Monaco and Colombia
Lionel MessiBarcelona and Argentina
Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund and Gabon
Edinson CavaniParis Saint-Germain and Uruguay
Mats HummelsBayern Munich and Germany
Karim BenzemaReal Madrid and France
Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid and Portugal
Eden HazardChelsea and Belgium
Leonardo BonucciAC Milan and Italy
IscoReal Madrid and Spain
Kylian MbappeParis Saint Germain and France