Liverpool’s Champions League winners dominate the nominations for the Ballon d’Or after seven of Jurgen Klopp’s men were included on the 30-man shortlist – along with the likes of perennial winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all featured amongst the candidates when they were announced by France Football and L’Equipe on Monday evening.
There was further Premier League representation in the form of Manchester City’s quintet of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva, Tottenham pair Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min, and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Five-times winner Ronaldo was included as was his Juventus colleague Matthijs De Ligt.
In no surprise, Messi led Barcelona’s charge as he bids for this sixth Ballon d’Or while Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie De Jong and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen are also in contention.
Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema are in but there is no nomination for Luka Modric, a year after he ended Messi/Ronaldo Ballon d’Or duopoloy and won the FIFA best player award after a stellar 2018, while Atletico Madrid are represented by young striker Joao Felix.
7️⃣ #LFC players make the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or. 🏆
23% of the nominations are Reds! 🔴
🇧🇷 Alisson Becker
🇳🇱 Gini Wijnaldum
🏴 Trent Alexander-Arnold
🇧🇷 Roberto Firmino
🇳🇱 Van Dijk
🇸🇳 Sadio Mane
🇪🇬 Mohamed Salah
Believe. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/j2PzlIDGgT
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) October 21, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Marquinhos also made the cut but there was no nod for Neymar.
Ajax pair Dusan Tadic and Donny Van De Beek, Bayern Munich’s Poland frontman Robert Lewandowski and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly were also recognised.
England international Jadon Sancho was one of 10 young players nominated for the Kopa Trophy along with Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, Everton striker Moise Kean and Dutch international de Ligt.
The other nominees are Joao Felix, Real Madrid teen Vinicius Jr, Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia’s Lee Kang In, Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal and on-loan Valladolid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.
Goalkeepers at four English club were nominated for the Yashin award as Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson of Manchester City, Chelsea’s keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Lloris were selected alongside Manuel Neuer, Samir Handanovic, Jan Oblak, Andre Onana, Wojciech Szczesny and Ter Stegen.
World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe is favoured to add a women’s Ballon d’Or to her FIFA award won last month and she was joined on a 20-woman list by teammates Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan, last year’s inaugural winner Ada Hegerberg, and Australian superstar Sam Kerr.
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Paris on December 2.
30-MAN BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)
Bernardo Silva (Man City/Portugal)
Heung-min Son (Tottenham/South Korea)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/Brazil)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)
Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)
Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG/France)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)
Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)
Sergio Aguero (Man City/Argentina)
Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)
Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
Riyad Mahrez (Man City/Algeria)
Kevin De Bruyne (Man City/Belgium)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/Barcelona/France)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid/Belgium)
Raheem Sterling (Man City/England)
Joao Felix (Benfica/Atletico Madrid/Portugal)