The Ballon d’Or shortlist of 30 players for this season’s prestigious award has been released and is dominated by players in the Premier League.
Ballon d’Or shortlist
The list is headed by the favourite to win Lionel Messi, the Argentina World Cup captain. Along with other leading names such as Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr, Luka Modric, and Kylian Mbappe. However, a third of the names are from teams in the Premier League, with treble-winning Manchester City leading the way.
The champions of Europe, who beat Arsenal to the title last year have a total of seven players in the 30, although one is a recent addition, Josko Gvardiol. The others in contention who are on Pep Guardiola’s side are Erling Haaland, Kevin de Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, and Rodri.
Premier League names
The Premier League is also represented by Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard from Arsenal. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, and Emiliano Martinez, the decorated Aston Villa goalkeeper. Manchester United’s recent signing, goalkeeper Andre Onana is also nominated, as is Harry Kane who has since left Tottenham Hotspur and now plying his trade in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich. Striker Rasmus Hojlund, who is now playing for United was one of 10 players listed for the KOPA Trophy, the best young player award.
The list does not include Cristiano Ronaldo, now playing in the Saudi Pro League. It is the first time since 2003 that he has not been on the Ballon d’Orshortlist.
There was also a list of 10 goalkeepers named for the Yashin Trophy, the award for best goalkeeper. Amongst them are Onana and Martinez, as well as Ederson from Manchester City, and Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal.
The number of players that are up for these awards that are playing here in the Premier League proves once again the pulling power of the top clubs, and the players wanting to compete in a league full of top talent.