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30 players, 20 players in contention

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Lionel Messi, six times crowned, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar or Karim Benzema appear in the list of 30 nominated for the men’s Ballon d’Or. Among women, the 2019 winner, the American Megan Rapinoe, eliminated in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics, does not appear in the nominations unlike the Canadian Christine Sinclair, Olympic champion.

The weekly France Football unveiled, Friday, October 8, the list of 30 players and 20 players nominated for the Ballon d’Or 2021, after a year 2020 without winners due to competitions truncated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rookie star of Paris Saint-Germain Lionel Messi, six times crowned, winner of the Copa America this summer with Argentina, alongside in the list his club teammates Kylian Mbappé and Neymar, semi-finalists of the C1. Winner of the Champions League with Chelsea, crowned European champion with Italy and already crowned UEFA player of the year, midfielder Jorginho is obviously present. His French teammate N’Golo Kanté, elected man of the match in the semi-finals and final of C1, is also on the list.

Five-time winner of the trophy and third in 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo does not miss the call and finds at his side his former teammate of Real Madrid Karim Benzema, centerpiece of the Merengues and return to the Blues. On the other hand, Antoine Griezmann, another striker for the France team, is not on the list.

Also present, Polish striker from Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, European Golden Shoe (41 goals) and Norwegian striker from Dortmund Erling Haaland, top scorer in C1 (10 goals). Just like the English Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling, finalists of the Euro. Danish defender Simon Kjaer, semi-finalist of the Euro, slips into the 30.

Three Frenchwomen among the nominated

In women, the 2019 winner, the American Megan Rapinoe, eliminated in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics, is not among the named, unlike the Canadian Christine Sinclair, Olympic champion.

FC Barcelona, ​​winner of the women’s C1, is present in force, with in particular Alexia Putellas, already crowned UEFA player of the year and Jennifer Hermoso, tied top scorer in the C1.

Three French women are on the list: the captain of Lyon and the Bleues, Wendie Renard, and the Parisians Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani, champions of France and semi-finalists of the Champions League.

In addition, ten goalies will compete for the Yachine Trophy. Among them, PSG goalkeepers Gianluigi Donnarumma, European champion with Italy (also in the Ballon d’Or list), and Costa Rican Keylor Navas, as well as Senegalese Édouard Mendy, winner of the C1 with Chelsea.

For the Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best player under 21 among 10 candidates, are in the running the Spaniard Pedri, the English Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood and Bukayo Saka or the German Jamal Musiala, the Belgian Jérémy Doku (Rennes) and the Portuguese Nuno Mendes (PSG).

Nominated by a panel of international journalists, these prestigious trophies will be awarded on November 29 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

With AFP

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