Five African players have been nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy
France Football have named their short-list of 30 candidates, with seven coming from English Premier League side Liverpool and another five from Manchester City.
Senegal forward Sadio Mane and his Liverpool teammate Mo Salah of Egypt, have both been nominated and will be among the front-runners having helped The Reds to the UEFA Champions League trophy last season.
Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez from City is also in the running, along with Napoli and Ivory Coast defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who plays for Arsenal.
There are also the usual suspects in Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Dutch quintet of Virgil van Dyk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt.
There are also some notable absentees – Brazilian Neymar, Luka Modric of Croatia, Frenchman Paul Pogba and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez all did not make the list.
The vote for the winner will take place among 180 journalists picked from all over the world.
The 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or:
Liverpool: Van Dijk, Firmino, Alisson, Wijnaldum, Alexander-Arnold, Mane and Salah
Manchester City: De Bruyne, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Aguero and Sterling
Barcelona: Leo Messi, Griezmann, Ter Stegen and De Jong
Real Madrid: Benzema and Hazard
Tottenham: Son and Lloris
Ajax: Van de Beek and Tadic
Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo and De Ligt
PSG: Mbappe and Marquinhos
Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix
Bayern Munich: Lewandowski
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