Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

18:10 – KdB on the list!

De Bruyne nominated! Manchester City and Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has been included on the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or!

His club teammate Ruben Dias has also been nominated alongside Denmark’s Simon Kjaer, PSG’s Neymar and Inter striker Lautaro Martinez.

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18:05 – Seventh heaven?

No player has won as many Ballon d’Or trophies as Messi, so could the legendary Argentine claim the prestigious award for a seventh time?

Messi has had better years, but has still managed to score 37 goals and notch 14 assists in 46 games for club and country. He might have had a slow-ish start to life at PSG, but those are still incredible numbers!

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: Leo Messi of Paris Saint-Germain reacts after scoring during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City at Parc des Princes on September 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aureli

Image credit: Getty Images

18:00 – Messi and Fernandes nominated!

Messi nominated! Fernandes too! There’s a familiar name in the latest batch of nominees – Lionel Messi has once again been nominated for the Ballon d’Or!

Bruno Fernandes has also been nominated after an excellent 2021. There are also places for Giorgio Chiellini, Luka Modric and Pedri!

17:45 – Lionesses, represent!

Fran Kirby and Ellen White are among those shortlisted for the 2021 Ballon d’Or! Might an England international get their hands on the most prestigious individual award in the game?

17:40 – Next batch announced!

Kane and Sterling nominated! Harry Kane has earned himself a place on the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or, as has Raheem Sterling!

The England and Tottenham Hotspur striker has been included in the same batch of nominees as Nicolo Barella, Karim Benzema, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sterling!

17:30 – Kante’s chances

While we’re waiting for the next batch of names to be released (who gave France Football this power?), let’s assess Kante’s chances of winning the trophy.

The French midfielder was part of the Chelsea team that won the Champions League, but France didn’t make it as far as Italy at Euro 2020. So might Kante’s candidacy be countered by that of his teammate, Jorginho?

Ngolo Kante

Image credit: Getty Images

17:15 – First Ballon d’Or names revealed!

Kante and Mount on shortlist! Chelsea midfielders N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount have been included on the shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.

There’s also a place for Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Norwegian striker Erling Haaland and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. More names to come later!

16:55 – Goalies in the spotlight!

Yachine Trophy nominees announced! Emi Martinez and Kasper Schmeichel have been named on the shortlist for the 2021 Yachine Trophy awarded to the best goalkeeper for the year!

Ederson and Edouard Mendy are also on there to make up a strong Premier League contingent. No place for Alisson Becker, though!

16:40 – Bellingham on Kopa Trophy shortlist!

Bellingham, Greenwood and Saka on Kopta Trophy shortlist! The nominees for the 2021 Kopa Trophy (awarded to the best player under the age of 21) have been announced!

Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood and Bukayo Saka are all on there as is Jeremy Doku, Ryan Gravenburch, Nuno Mendes Jamal Musiala, Pedri, Gio Reyna and Florian Wirtz.

Jude Bellingham überragte beim Sieg in Istanbul

Image credit: Getty Images

16:25 – Full Women’s Ballon d’Or shortlist!

We have the names! The full shortlist for the 2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or has now been released. Here it is…

Stina Blackstenius, Kadidiatou Diani, Christiane Endler, Magdalena Eriksonn, Jessie Fleming, Pernille Harder, Jennifer Hermoso, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Ashley Lawrence, Lieke Martens, Samantha Mewis, Vivianne Miedema, Sandra Paños, Irene Paredes, Alexia Putellas, Wendie Renard, Christine Sinclair and Ellen White!

16:20 – Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees!

Chelsea’s Sam Kerr and Magdalena Eriksonn have been named in the first batch of nominees for the 2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or. There is also a place on the shortlist for Stina Blackstenius, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Alexia Putellas!

16:15 – Still waiting…

While we’re waiting for the first names to be announced, let’s run through some more of the candidates who could win the whole thing.

Robert Lewandowski likely would have won the 2020 Ballon d’Or award had it gone ahead, so might the Polish striker be seen as a frontrunner in 2021 too? N’Golo Kante also had a good year and you can never discount Cristiano Ronaldo!

Robert Lewandowski czeka na sygnał

Image credit: Getty Images

16:00 – Here we go!

Are you sitting tightly? Good, because it’s about to go down! Nothing gets the blood pumping like the staggered announcement of shortlisted candidates for an individual sporting award in a team sport!

15:55 – Defending champ!

Lionel Messi was the last player to get his hands on the Ballon d’Or back in 2019. A lot has changed since then – there’s been a global pandemic that prevented football from being played for much of 2020, forcing France Football to cancel the Ballon d’Or for that year.

Also Messi no longer plays for Barcelona. You decide which was bigger news…

Lionel Messi poses onstage after winning his sixth Ballon D’Or award during the Ballon D’Or Ceremony at Theatre Du Chatelet

Image credit: Getty Images

15:45 – Jorginho’s year?

The bookmakers have Jorginho high in this year’s odds to win the Ballon d’Or. The midfielder helped Chelsea win the Champions League last season, he was part of the Italy team that won Euro 2020 and has been in excellent form as the Blues have mounted a Premier League title challenge this season?

Might Jorginho be the player whose name is engraved on the most famous golden ball in football?

Jorginho alza il trofeo della Supercoppa europea 2021 – Chelsea-Villarreal

Image credit: Getty Images

15:30 – Procedure!

France Football will start releasing the names of the 30 players shortlisted for this year’s Ballon d’Or from 4pm (BST). Not all the names will be announced at once. Instead, there will be a series of announcements to make up the final shortlist of 30 names.

Who are we expecting to be on that list? Jorginho is a strong candidate, as is Robert Lewandowski. Will the usual suspects – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – be on there too? All will be revealed!

15:20 – Welcome!

Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport’s LIVE coverage of today’s announcement of the 30 candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or!

The great and good of world football will be recognised as the sport’s most prestigious individual prize returns for 2021 after its cancellation for 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption it caused in the game.

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