Leicester City heroes Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, stars in their team’s fairytale run to the Premier League title, have also been named on a 30-player longlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or.
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.
The most suprising part of this year award, is that Vardy — who has enjoyed a meteoric rise from amateur football to rub shoulders with the game’s biggest names — is the sole Englishman nominated for the prestigious prize.
The winner will be determined by a vote of journalists — national team captains and managers will no longer have a say after the ending of the five-year deal between France Football and FIFA.
Sergio Aguero (ARG/Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB/Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (WAL/Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (ITA/Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (ARG/Juventus), Diego Godin (URU/Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (FRA/Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (ARG/Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE/Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (ESP/Barcelona), Koke (ESP/Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (GER/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (POL/Bayern Munich), Hugo Lloris (FRA/Tottenham Hotspur), Riyad Mahrez (ALG/Leicester City), Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona), Luka Modric (CRO/Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (GER/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (GER/Bayern Munich), Neymar (BRA/Barcelona), Dimitri Payet (FRA/West Ham United), Paul Pogba (FRA/Manchester United), Pepe (POR/Real Madrid), Rui Patricio (POR/Sporting Lisbon), Sergio Ramos (ESP/Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (URU/Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (ENG/Leicester City), Arturo Vidal (CHI/Bayern Munich)