Usual suspects among Ballon d’Or nominees

Highlights – Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs 1. FSV Mainz 05

The 30 Ballon d’Or nominees, revealed by France Football, have been released and consist of 11 Premier League players, 14 from La Liga, three from Ligue 1 and two from Serie A.

The 30-man shortlist for the annual award is separate from FIFA’s The Best award, which was won by Luka Modric.

France Football’s editorial office is responsible for drawing up the shortlist, which will be voted on by a panel of international journalists, with one representing each country.

Mo Salah, N’Golo Kante, Harry Kane, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Roberto Firmino, Kevin de Bruyne, Alisson, Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero and Hugo Lloris are the nominees among those announced currently plying their trade in the Premier League.

Luka Modric, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Sergio Ramos, Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann, and Isco, all playing in La Liga, are also on the list, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic of Juventus are the only two representatives from Serie A.

PSG trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani are the only Ligue 1 players.

The Ballon d’Or is split into three separate criteria: performances during the calendar year, talent and fair play, and career achievements.

Each panel member will pick their top five from the shortlist, with their first choice earning six points, their second four, their third three, their fourth two and their fifth one.

The player with the most points will be awarded the Ballon d’Or, while the player with the most first picks will claim the prize in the event of a tie.