France Football has recently released a list of 30 nominees for Ballon d'Or 2019 with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Virgil Van Dijk, all featuring, but Neymar missing from the list. A total of 70 nominations have been announced for the Men's and Women Ballon d'Or (30+20), the Kopa Trophy (10) the newly created Yachine Trophy (10).
Lionel Messi; Cristiano Ronaldo; Virgil van Dijk; Sadio Mane; Sergio Aguero; Frenkie de Jong; Hugo Lloris; Dusan Tadic; Kylian Mbappe; Trent Alexander-Arnold; Donny van de Beek; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Marc-André ter Stegen; Alisson; Matthijs de Ligt; Karim Benzema; Georginio Wijnaldum; Bernardo Silva; Heung-min Son; Robert Lewandowski; Roberto Firmino; Kevin De Bruyne; Antoine Griezmann; Eden Hazard; Joao Felix; Kalidou Koulibaly; Riyad Mahrez; Marquinhos; Mohamed Salah; Raheem Sterling.
Last season's UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool have seen seven players nominated with Van Dijk and Mo Salah leading the chart. 21-year-old Alexander-Arnold has also been nominated after his heroics in the Champions League for the club. However, his defence partner Andrew Robertson misses out. In August, Van Dijk was voted the UEFA Player of the Year and would be once again contesting for the coveted prize. If he wins, he will become the first defender to lift the Ballon d'Or since Fabio Cannavaro's triumph in 2006.
Lionel Messi was named the FIFA FIFPro Best Men’s Player last month and would be challenging Van Dijk for the prize. He is among the three Barcelona players nominated along with newly-signed Griezmann and Ter Stegen.
All of the players shortlisted play in Europe with 15 players from the Premier League with LaLiga coming next with seven nominees. Ronaldo's win, in 2008, back in his Manchester United playing days, was the last Premier League player to win the award.
The Netherlands have 5 players shortlisted with France next with 4 and Portugal and Brazil 3 each. Argentina, England, Senegal, and Belgium each have 2 players listed while Serbia, Gabon, Germany, South Korea, Algeria, Egypt and Poland have one player each.
Neymar misses out after he was battling with injuries for the most part in the last season.
Last year, Luka Modric ended seven years of Ronaldo-Messi dominance when he scooped the award for winning a third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid - as well as captaining Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final. This time around, however, Modric has become the first player in history to not make the final 30 the following year.
The voting is scheduled to end on November 2, while the winner of Ballon d'Or will be named at a ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on December 2, along with the Women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy (Best under 21 player) and newly introduced Yachine Trophy - named after legendary former goalkeeper Lev Yashin.