France Football have revealed the entire 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon D’or and while there are a few notable inclusions, none would be non-warranted.

Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the front-runners and after dominating the award for the past decade, either of one of the duo will likely take home this year’s gong as well.

In fact, one could argue that the Portuguese superstar is a heavy favourite to beat his arch-rival for after winning the Champions League and the La Liga both, Ronaldo has a stronger case than the Barcelona forward.

Ballon d'Or, Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF, La Liga, UEFA Champions League
Will Cristiano Ronaldo’s golden run continue in 2017? (Photo: AFP)

Napoli duo Dries Mertens and Edin Dzeko are the inclusions that seem to have surprised many but their statistics for the 2017-18 season have been nothing short of sensational and they fully deserve their recognition.

Ballon d'Or, Jan Oblak, Slovenia Football, Atletico Madrid FC
Jan Oblak is widely regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the La Liga! (Photo: AFP)

Real Madrid midfielder Isco makes the shortlist for the first time in his career after dazzling for Los Blancos in the UEFA Champions League and La Liga both, but his teammate Gareth Bale is one of the notable absentees from the list.

Ballon d'Or, Real Madrid CF, Isco, Spain Football
Isco has come into his own since last season! (Photo: AFP)

The Premier League has a few representatives in the list, with David de Gea (Manchester United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), N’Golo Kane (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho (both Liverpool) making the cut.

Ballon d'Or, Premier League, Chelsea FC, Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard won the Premier League with Chelsea last season and has been rewarded by getting the nod for the shortlist! (Photo: AFP)

PSG’s expensively assembled attack triumvirate of Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar all featuring. Neymar, the world’s most expensive player of all time, is a strong contender to finish on the podium along with Ronaldo and Messi.

Ballon d'Or, Neymar, Brazil Football, Paris Saint-Germain FC
Neymar has been in fine form for club and country both! (Photo: AFP)

Messi’s strike-partner for Barcelona, Luis Suarez, is another contender but surprisingly the Catalan club has no other players in the elite list.

Lionel Messi, World Cup Qualifiers, FC Barcelona, Argentina Football, Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi may have banged in the goals, but has had precious little to show for it in terms of silverware! (Photo: AFP)

In stark contrast, their arch-rivals Real Madrid have plenty of players, with Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and the aforementioned duo of Ronaldo and Isco all prominent.

Benzema’s inclusion is the sole controversial one as the French forward has not been representing his national team for a while now and his club season was not particularly impressive either.

Atletico Madrid duo Antoine Greizmann and Jan Oblak are the Rojiblancos’ representative and the former is one of the contenders to make the podium.

Paulo Dybala and Gianluigi Buffon, two players at the opposite stages of their careers, are Juventus’ nominees with former teammate Leonardo Bonucci (now at AC Milan) also featuring.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang , Ballon d'Or, Borussia Dortmund FC,
The fleet-footed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a productive season in the Bundesliga! (Photo: AFP)

From the Bundesliga, Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski (all three Bayern Munich) feature, as does Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund).

Ballon d'Or, World Cup Qualifiers, Spain Football, Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid CF
Sergio Ramos (R) continues to lead Spain and Real Madrid effortlessly! (Photo: AFP)

 

The entire list:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)

Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan/Italy)

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)

Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain/Uruguay)

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium)

David De Gea (Manchester United/Spain)

Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)

Edin Dzeko (AS Roma/Bosnia)

Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco/Colombia)

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)

Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)

Isco (Real Madrid/Spain)

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur/England)

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/France)

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain/France)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)

Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)

Dries Mertens (Napoli/Belgium)

Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona/Argentina)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)

Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil)

Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/Slovenia)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)

Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona/Uruguay).