Football icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have once again been nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for the year 2021. Messi and Ronaldo feature in the 30-man shortlist announced by France Football for the award along with the likes of Jorginho, Robert Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappe among others, who are also favourites for the individual honour.
Six-time winner Messi and Ronaldo, a five-time holder, have dominated world football for over a decade and have shared as many as eleven Ballon d’Or trophies between them. Messi was the last player to win the Ballon d’Or award in 2019 as it was not handed out in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, who were instrumental in their side’s success in the Champions League are among the favourites to claim the prestigious award this season. Chelsea had defeated Manchester City in the final to win the Champions League last season.
Lewandowski, who was the top scorer in Europe last season with a staggering 41 goals has also been nominated for the award. Messi led Argentina to a Copa America win this summer and also ended his trophy drought in international football. However, he failed to win both the La Liga and the Champion League with Barcelona before leaving the club for PSG ahead of the ongoing season.
Ronaldo too failed to win the Serie A with his former club Juventus last season but has been nominated for the prestigious award. He also failed to inspire Portugal to a successful Euro title defence this year. Ronaldo had finished behind winner Messi and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk in the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
Here is the complete list of Ballon d’Or 2021 nominees:
Kevin De Bruyne
Ballon d’Or Feminin – 20 in contention
France Football have announced 20 nominees for the Ballon d’Or Feminin award. US star Megan Rapinoe missed out on the nominations this time around with Sam Mewis making the cut as the only American on the list. The likes of Sam Kerr, Vivianne Miedema and Pernille Harder are among the favourites to win the women’s award this year. UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Alexia Putellas has also been nominated.
Check out the full list of nominations: