France Football have named the 30 nominees vying for the coveted Ballon d'Or, with current and former winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo headlining the list.
Barcelona forward Messi, who scooped the award for a record fifth time in 2015, is amongst the favourites to win again this year, along with Real Madrid counterpart Ronaldo, himself a four-time winner.
Messi helped the Blaugrana to the La Liga title last season with his 26 goals from 33 appearances, while Ronaldo won the UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos before leading Portugal to glory at Euro 2016 two months later.
Luis Suarez – winner of the European Golden Shoe after bagging an impressive 40 goals in 35 league outings last term – also makes the list again alongside Barca team-mate Neymar, who came in third behind Messi and Ronaldo last year.
Other La Liga nominees include Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Luca Modric, Atletico Madrid duo Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann and Barca playmaker Andres Iniesta.
Also getting the nod were James Vardy, Leicester’s star striker during last season’s incredible title-winning Premier League campaign, and Paul Pogba, the former Juventus and now Manchester United midfielder, who recently set the all-time record for highest football transfer fee at €105 million.
Other Premier League representatives include Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet.
Nominees from the Bundesliga include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund, and FC Bayern München stars Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Arturo Vidal.
There are a couple of changes to the Ballon d’Or format in 2016 with national-team coaches, captains and international media no longer getting a vote. Only journalists will have a say in who wins.
The number of nominees have also increased from 23 to 30, although the list will not be narrowed down to three anymore – instead the final three placings will be revealed by France Football on December 13.
— MESSISTATS ?? (@MessiStats) October 24, 2016
The full list of 30 nominees:
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Koke (Atletico Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
Pepe (Real Madrid)
Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United)
Rui Patricio (Sporting)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)