By Favour Goodness
The trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Robert Lewandowski are among the 30 favourites shortlisted for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Their names were announced in a series of social media posts by France Football on Friday.
As organisers prepare for the ceremony scheduled to take place in November after a COVID-19-stricken year, the trio are the frontrunners to pick up the award.
But only one player will go home with one of the world’s most prestigious individual awards.
The 30-man list of players comprises a goalkeeper, five defenders, nine midfielders, and 15 forwards drawn from various football clubs across Europe.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo looks to match the record of six awards set by Messi, following a brilliant performance last season.
Before finding his way back to Manchester United since his departure in 2009, the 36-year-old netted 36 goals and made four assists for Juventus.
Just like his Portuguese counterpart, Messi was crucial to Barcelona’s performance last season, although the Spanish side failed to add a trophy to their cabinet.
The 34-year-old, however, bade a farewell to Camp Nou after 21 years and joined his former Barcelona teammate, Neymar (who was also shortlisted) at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
This is the full list of the 30 footballers shortlisted for this year’s Ballon d’Or:
Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Simon Kjær (AC Milan)
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Lionel Messi (PSG)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)