Sunday, February 19, 2017

De Bruyne, Griezmann join Ballon d´Or shortlist

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Oct 2016

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Kevin De Bruyne and Antoine Griezmann are among the latest names to be included on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

The Manchester City and Atletico Madrid stars have been named among the contenders for France Football’s prize, along with Atletico centre-back Diego Godin and Juventus forwards Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain.

The 30-man shortlist is being revealed by the publication in alphabetical, five-man groups throughout Monday. Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon and Cristiano Ronaldo were the first names to be disclosed.

De Bruyne was exceptional in his first season in England following a reported £55million transfer from Wolfsburg, notching 16 goals and 14 assists in all competitions despite missing a number of weeks with a knee injury.

Griezmann’s 32 goals fired Atletico to the Champions League final and third place in LaLiga, before he claimed the Euro 2016 Golden Boot with six strikes as France reached the final, where they lost to Portugal. Godin was pivotal to Atletico’s campaign at the heart of their defence.

Paulo Dybala has developed into a key figure in Juventus’ attack during his first year with the club, finishing as their top scorer with 23 goals last term.

His team-mate, Higuain, broke Gunnar Nordahl’s 66-year record of 35 goals in a single season in Serie A, when his hat-trick for Napoli against Frosinone in May took his tally to 36. He has scored seven times for Juve since joining in a €90million deal in July.

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