Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, two of the three podium finishers in voting for last year’s Ballon d’Or, have been named among the 30 nominees for the 2017 edition of the honour.
The fourth and fifth batches of nominations released by award organisers France Football included Barcelona star Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann, who finished second and third respectively in 2016.
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, Liverpool winger Sadio Mane, Monaco forward Radamel Falcao and Bayern Munich’s Mats Hummels have also made the cut.
Three separate quintets of nominees were named earlier on Monday.
Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luka Modric, Marcelo and N’Golo Kante were the first names to be released, followed by a group containing Dries Mertens, Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos, Philippe Coutinho and Jan Oblak.
They were then joined in the final 30 by Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne, David de Gea and Edin Dzeko.
Twenty-five nominations for this year’s prize have now been announced and the final group of candidates for football’s top individual prize will be announced later on Monday.
Last year’s award, which was the first since France Football and FIFA’s collaboration ended, was won by Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Messi and Griezmann.
Ronaldo, the favourite to retain his crown, is set to be named in the last group of nominees.
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