Ronaldo, Bale on Ballon d'Or shortlist

Both were on the 2016 shortlist announced Monday which also featured Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008 and 2013-14, set himself up for a fourth Ballon d'Or when captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and inspiring Real Madrid to an 11th Champions League triumph.   -  Omnisport

Three-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo will have to take on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d'Or.

Both were on the 2016 shortlist announced Monday which also featured Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Ballon d'Or sponsors France Football magazine are releasing the names of the 30 shortlisted players in batches of five over the course of Monday. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was expected to be added later.

Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008 and 2013-14, set himself up for a fourth Ballon d'Or when captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and inspiring Real Madrid to an 11th Champions League triumph.

The winner will be will be determined by a vote of journalists - players (national team captains) and managers will no longer have a say after the ending of a five-year deal between France football and FIFA.

The first Ballon d'Or was won by Stanley Matthews, at the time with Blackpool, who beat Alfredo Di Stefano for the inaugural title in 1956.

Last year's honour went to Ronaldo's arch rival Messi, the Barcelona and Argentina legend winning it for the fifth time.

De Bruyne, Griezmann, Ibrahimovic join the list

Kevin De Bruyne and Antoine Griezmann are among the latest names to be included on the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.

The Manchester City and Atletico Madrid stars have been named among the contenders for France Football's prize, along with Atletico centre-back Diego Godin and Juventus forwards Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain.

The 30-man shortlist is being revealed by the publication in alphabetical, five-man groups throughout Monday. Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon and Cristiano Ronaldo were the first names to be disclosed.

De Bruyne was exceptional in his first season in England following a reported £55million transfer from Wolfsburg, notching 16 goals and 14 assists in all competitions despite missing a number of weeks with a knee injury.

Griezmann's 32 goals fired Atletico to the Champions League final and third place in LaLiga, before he claimed the Euro 2016 Golden Boot with six strikes as France reached the final, where it lost to Portugal. Godin was pivotal to Atletico's campaign at the heart of their defence.

Paulo Dybala has developed into a key figure in Juventus' attack during his first year with the club, finishing as their top scorer with 23 goals last term.

His team-mate, Higuain, broke Gunnar Nordahl's 66-year record of 35 goals in a single season in Serie A, when his hat-trick for Napoli against Frosinone in May took his tally to 36. He has scored seven times for Juve since joining in a €90million deal in July.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski have been included in the latest batch of nominations to win the 2016 Ballon d'Or.

The 30-man shortlist for the award is being announced throughout Monday, with the Manchester United and Bayern Munich strikers among five players added to the 10 who have already been revealed.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, Atletico Madrid star Koke and Real Madrid's Toni Kroos are the others to make the shortlist for the game's most prestigious individual award.

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