Paris - Three-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo will have to take on Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d'Or.
Both were on the 2016 shortlist announced on Monday which also featured
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi
Ballon d'Or sponsors France Football magazine are releasing the names
of the 30 shortlisted players in batches of five over the course of
Monday. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was expected to be added later.
Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014, set himself up for a
fourth Ballon d'Or when captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and
inspiring Real Madrid to an 11th Champions League triumph.
Another player to make the list is Atletico Madrid's Antoine
Griezmann, one of the stars for hosts and beaten finalists France at
The winner will be will be determined by a vote of journalists -
players (national team captains) and managers will no longer have a say
after the ending of a five-year deal between France football and FIFA.
The first Ballon d'Or was won by Stanley Matthews, at the time with
Blackpool, who beat Alfredo Di Stefano for the inaugural title in 1956.
Last year's honour went to Ronaldo's arch-rival Messi, the Barcelona and Argentina legend winning it for the fifth time.