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Chelsea & Man City lead the way, Messi the favourite as Ballon d’Or shortlist leaked online

Chelsea & Man City lead the way, Messi the favourite as Ballon d’Or shortlist leaked online

 

An image of the rumoured 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or award has leaked across social media on Friday evening.

Lewy denied

The Ballon d’Or, or ‘golden ball’, is widely considered to be the gold standard when it comes to individual accolades in football.

Since its inception in 1956, a whole host of the game’s greatest-ever players have been crowned as winners.

Recent years have of course seen two of the finest to ever step foot on the pitch, in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, dominate proceedings, with the most recent ceremony having seen the latter crowned for a record-breaking 6th time.

Chelsea & Man City lead the way, Messi the favourite as Ballon d’Or shortlist leaked online

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – JANUARY 11: FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees Lionel Messi of Argentina and FC Barcelona (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid (R) attend a press conference prior to the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Amid the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic, last year’s edition of the Ballon d’Or was eventually cancelled, a development which no doubt marked a heavy blow for then-favourite Robert Lewandowski.

Kane & Kjaer amongst the nominees

This time around, though, a victor will indeed be crowned by France Football, with the latest odds placing Lionel Messi as heavy front-runner to add to his record haul upon the results being announced late next month.

This comes with the 34-year-old having of course enjoyed a historic summer, in leading Argentina all the way to Copa America glory.

Chelsea & Man City lead the way, Messi the favourite as Ballon d’Or shortlist leaked online

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JULY 10: Lionel Messi of Argentina kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after winning the final of Copa America Brazil 2021 between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium on July 10, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

And, as outlined above, on Friday, the list of predicted nominees set to challenge football’s greatest-ever player for the Ballon d’Or has been leaked online.

The shortlist is unsurprisingly dominated by stars from Chelsea and Manchester City, owing to their efforts en route to the Champions League final, and the latter’s Premier League triumph.

Also included are the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes, Barcelona starlet Pedri and AC Milan stopper Simon Kjaer, owing to his life-saving actions at Euro 2020:

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.