Ronaldo, Messi, 28 others make Ballon d’Or shortlist

Thirteen Premier League stars have made it onto the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or, with the world’s best player set to be crowned on November 29.

Chelsea’s Jorginho is the third favourite to land the accolade according to the bookies, after winning the Champions League, as well at Euro 2020 with Italy.

He’s joined in the final 30 by Blues teammates Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku, while six-time winner Lionel Messi remains the favourite.

The PSG forward won the Copa America with Argentina in the summer before he left Barcelona, and he’s once again joined in the final 30 by five-time winner and Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Premier League Player of the Season Ruben Dias makes the cut, as do Manchester City teammates Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is in once again after claims that he is currently the best player in the world, while Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane are also named.

The trophy will be handed out at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, and is widely regarded as the most prestigious individual award in the game, with France Football crowning the world’s best player every year between 1956 and 2019.

That run came to an end last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski looked a certainty to pick up his first golden ball after managing an astonishing 55 goals in 47 games during the 2019/20 season.

The Pole has made the final 30 again after 48 goals in 40 games last season, and sits as the bookies’ second favourite behind Messi.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the award voting since 2008, picking up 11 crowns between them, only interrupted by a Luka Modric win in 2018.

The Croatian midfielder again makes the cut, joined by Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema, as well as LaLiga stars Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal) and Pedri (Barcelona).

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