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On Monday, France Football announced the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.
Here's who made it: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Pepe (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United), Rui Patricio (Sporting), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).
30 players from across the world made the cut, but many players who failed to make the list will be wondering what they did wrong.
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal
The mercurial German will feel hard done by following a stellar season in 2015/16 that saw Arsenal finish second behind underdogs Leicester City. Last season Ozil registered 19 assists, one short of Frenchman Thierry Henry’s premier league record as well as scoring eight goals in all competitions for the Gunners. Ozil also played a key role for Germany in Euro 2016 that saw the German’s lose to hosts and eventual runners up, France in the semi final. The former Real Madrid man has made a strong start to the 16/17 campaign finding the back of the net three times in the league, and a hat trick in the UEFA Champions League.
Sergio Busquets – Barcelona
The Spaniard was a surprise omission from the 30 man shortlist after a title run with Barcelona. Busquets is a vital man in his holding role for the Spanish champions, and is a favourite of Luis Enrique. Busquets links Barcelona’s defence to their deadly trio up front and had one of his better seasons for the Blaugrana in 15/16. He will be rightly bemused on missing the cut following his previous nominations.
Renato Sanches – Bayern Munich
2016 Golden Boy, Sanches was a key player in Portugal’s win at Euro 2016, holding down the centre of the park in what was a very defensives style of play that required Sanches to soak up a lot of pressure for the Portugese. The 18 year old’s impressive play for Portugese side Benfica was rewarded with a 35 million euro transfer to German champions, Bayern Munich where he has starred in the midfield so far this season.
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
The Chilean, who is known for his relentless work ethic had a brilliant second half of the season with the Gunners and was key in the Gunners late title push and their eventual second place finish. Sanchez also starred for Chile in their Copa America triumph over Argentina. Sanchez was awarded the Golden Ball for the tournament, scoring three and setting up two for the champions.
Claudio Bravo - Manchester City
Another Chilean that was key to back to back successes for Chile and was awarded the Golden Glove as best keeper at the tournament. Bravo was La Liga champions, Barcelona’s number one keeper for their title winning season and earned himself a transfer to English powerhouse Manchester City.