PSG/Brazil star Neymar Jr. and last year’s Ballon D’or winner Luka Modric have been excluded from the 2019 Ballon D’or nominee list released Monday night with favourite Virgil Van Dijk competing against Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the France Football organized award.
The Ballon d’Or has been awarded by the French magazine, France Football, since 1956 and sees their editorial staff put together the initial 30-man shortlist.
Modric beat Messi and Ronaldo to last year’s gong following his impressive run at the FIFA 2018 World Cup and Real Madrid’s Champions League win but his omission this year makes him the first player in history to miss out on nomination the following year after winning it. Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was included on the 30-strong shortlist, along with World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have both won the Ballon d’Or a joint-record five times.
Below are the nominated players for the 2019 Ballon D’or award.
- Sadio Mane – Liverpool
- Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
- Frenkie de Jong – Ajax/ Barcelona
- Hugo Lloris – Tottenham
- Dusan Tadic – Ajax
- Kylian Mbappe – PSG
- Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
- Donny van de Beek – Ajax
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal
- Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen – Barcelona
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus
- Alisson – Liverpool
- Matthijs de Ligt – Juventus
- Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
- Georginio Wijnaldum – Liverpool
- Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
- Bernardo Silva – Manchester City
- Heung-min Son – Tottenham Hotspur
- Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
- Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
- Lionel Messi – Argentina/Barcelona