Cristiano Ronaldo may be a shoe-in to win the Ballon d’Or, but a grand total of 30 players have been nominated in all.
As usual, the only real contenders who stand a chance of prizing the accolade away from CR7 is Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
However, while it will almost certainly be a La Liga player who scoops the award, the Premier League is well represented, with eight nominees, as per the Guardian.
8 – Dimitri Payet – West Ham’s playmaker has enjoyed a sensational year, helping France to the final of Euro 2016.
7 – Jamie Vardy – This has to be the biggest surprise inclusion. There’s no place for Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, but the Leicester striker somehow makes the list. Vardy is now mentioned in the same breath as Gareth Bale and Andres Iniesta, apparently.
6 – Sergio Aguero – Manchester City’s star man may be a little off the boil right now, but at his best, he’s quite possibly the Premier League’s deadliest striker.
5 – Kevin de Bruyne – Aguero’s team-mate also makes the list. Pep Guardiola has brought the best out of the Belgian, who has had a superb 2016 despite a couple of injuries along the way.
4 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – This nomination comes at an odd time for Ibra. The Swede is actually experiencing a bit of a goal drought at United, but given his half-century of goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season, it’s no surprise he’s still classed as one of the world’s best.
3 – Hugo Lloris – One of the few goalkeepers to make the grade, Hugo Lloris is a rare nomination for Tottenham. The stopper has the highest save percentage of any Premier League goalkeeper at the moment. The only surprise is that he’s beaten David de Gea to the list.
2 – Riyad Mahrez – The Algerian undoubtedly deserves recognition for the role he played in helping Leicester to the title.
1 – Paul Pogba – The world’s most expensive player features, but you’d have to say it’s for his performances at Juventus rather than at Manchester United. The Frenchman is under fire having failed to live up to his price tag so far, but there’s little danger of him actually winning the award.