Football: Ronaldo favoured to shut the d’Or on Messi

PARIS • Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to retain the Ballon d'Or trophy, as his Real Madrid side dominated the 30-man shortlist announced by France Football on Monday.

The 32-year-old, who helped Real win the Champions League and LaLiga last season, is one of seven Real players on the list - the most from any team.

Should the Portugal forward triumph, he will equal the record of his great rival and five-time winner Lionel Messi of Barcelona, who is also nominated.

The only other Barca player in the running is Luis Suarez, while Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar and Edinson Cavani are also included on the shortlist.

Cristiano Ronaldo holding the trophy after winning the Uefa Player of the Year award in August. He has won the Ballon d'Or three times in the past four years and another victory this year would put him level with Lionel Messi, who is also among the players shortlisted for the award. PHOTO: REUTERS

Ronaldo has claimed the prestigious honour in three of the past four years, with Messi last collecting the trophy in 2015, following Barcelona's treble-winning campaign.

The pair have combined to win the award - organised by France Football magazine - every year since former Brazil and AC Milan star Kaka won it in 2007.

England striker Harry Kane, who was the English Premier League's top scorer last season, is among seven EPL players nominated, alongside Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Manchester United's David de Gea, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, and Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne.

LaLiga leads the way with 11 players on the list, Italy's Serie A has five, France's Ligue One has four and Germany's Bundesliga three.

Kylian Mbappe, 18, is the youngest player on the list following his close-season move to PSG from Monaco.

There were notable absentees, with Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Gonzalo Higuain and Paul Pogba all missing out.

The Ballon d'Or, which merged with the Fifa World Player of the Year award from 2010-15 to create the Fifa Ballon d'Or, returned to France Football magazine this year, having been established in 1956.

  • English Premier League players nominated, led by 2016-17 top scorer Harry Kane. European champions Real Madrid alone have seven nominees.

A panel of journalists picks the winner and the announcement will be made on Dec 6.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline 'Ronaldo favoured to shut the d'Or on Messi'. Print Edition | Subscribe